New water and sanitation facilities constructed at a primary school in South Bougainville will greatly improve access to clean water for drinking, cooking, sanitation and hygiene.
The new facilities at St Chris Sipii Primary School in Bolave, Bana District include two toilets, 17 water catchment systems and 30 water tanks.
The K100,000 project was initiated by the Bolave people who successfully applied for an Australian Government grant after raising more than K8,000 in the community.
The new facilities will reduce reliance on mountain water sources, which are often depleted during dry season and can be muddy and contaminated in rainy periods.
The project reduces the time that families – particularly women and children – spend on water collection by more than an hour each day. This means they will have more time for education, productive activities and participating in community life.
St Chris Sipii Primary School board chairman Tony Siona said the new toilets and water tanks have brought the community together and reduced the time wasted on water collection.
“Apart from the many health benefits to the community, another advantage has been students having more time to attend to school activities and get to school on time in the morning,” he said.
More than 20 local people were also trained on safe hygiene practices. This knowledge can be shared within the community and prevent the spread of diseases and illnesses.
Australia has supported 60 community projects that promote peace, security, and community cohesion by encouraging communities to organise and partner with government to respond to local challenges.