Traveling long distances to fetch clean water will soon be a thing of the past for the people of Marava, Ngongoti and Valele communities in Central Guadalcanal with the installation of the first water supply system now underway. The system, which is funded and coordinated by the Community Benefit Sharing Project (CBSP) for the Tina River Hydro Development Project (TRHDP), comprises a network of distribution pipes carrying water from a determined natural water source to storage tanks and then onto communities. In a first of its kind for the region, the system is powered by solar energy to move water from the source to its final destination for villages to access.
In order to fast track the work program, a large group of people from the benefitting communities have worked as a team to help move supplies up to the construction site. Because of this dedicated effort, installation has been ongoing for the past two weeks.
Chairman of the Marava, Ngongoti and Valele Water Supply committee Chief Rex Miki, acknowledged the large turnout of people from the three communities to assist with carrying the water supply materials to the installation site is an indication of how happy the people are with the water project and the CBSP team delivering on what has been a priority for a very long time. “We are very excited to finally have our own water system because it will make life easier for us now not having to travel distances to fetch water,” he said.
Other community members like Malisa Liso from Valele also expressed gratitude for the Project. “We have been wanting and needing a reliable water supply for a very long time and to finally have a water supply project in our community, is a dream come true.”
Raising the standard of living for the communities in and around the Project catchment is a major deliverable for the Solomon Island Government and it’s partners. With a focus on helping future generations benefit from all aspects of the Project, Francina Ata, who speaks on behalf of the young people of these communities said the water supply will make their lives easier, especially for the young girls, who are the ones mostly helping their mothers to fetch water.
“I am very excited about the Water Supply Project and that is the reason why I joined people from the communities to carry materials up to the construction site.” Ms Ata said.
The natural water source for the water system for Marava, Ngongoti and Valele is located 3km away from Marava community. In total, the Project will build over 18 water systems in the throughout the catchment area region.