Friday, 14 May 2010 7:05 AM

Save the Children Assists South Choiseul

For the past three years women and children in South Choiseul, Solomon Islands, walk an hour everyday to fecth water for their families.

It has been an everyday struggle for many communities since the 2007 tsunami struck.

But this will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the generosity of Save the Children's Tsunami Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction (TERRP) project.

TERRP Logistics Officer, Stephen Tova has been in Honiara this week procuring materials for 25 communities still recovering from the tsunami.

Four communities will soon have new tanks installed, while others will have pipes fixed that were damaged during the tsunami.

Mr Tova said there had been several cases of diarrhea among children who had been drinking from dirty broken pipes.

"It is absolutely vital for the health and wellbeing of communities that they have access to drinking water," he said. "Water is life and walking long distances to get water is a pain for our mothers and children."

Save the Children, with the support of AusAID, has been working in more than 50 communities in South Choiseul since 2007 to directly assist over 1000 families. This has been achieved by offering community education and consultation, supplying construction materials and providing technical advice through partnerships with agencies such as Rural Water and Sanitation Supply (RWSS).

The first phase of Save the Children's response focused on the needs of individual families who suffered damage to shelters. As part of the program, more than 300 tonnes of building materials have been delivered to affected areas. Save the Children has also helped people to 'Build Back Better', so that their houses will be less susceptible to natural disasters.

The current shipment follows the delivery of 58 water tanks in March and forms part of the second phase of Save the Children's response.

The second phase focuses on assistance that will benefit the community as a whole. Save the Children has conducted extensive consultation with the communities to find out what their needs are. The communities identified water and sanitation and community halls as priorities. The consultation ensures that women and children are actively involved in decision-making, and that the needs of people with disabilities are catered for.

Source: Press Release, Save the Children Australia, Honiara

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province