The Australian High Commission is pleased to announce its support for water tanks and a kindy in Isabel province through the Direct Aid Program (DAP). Australian High Commission Third Secretary, Ms Amanda Davis, opened the projects during a recent visit to the province.

The Australian High Commission funded water tanks in three villages: Vasole, Tararo and Nagholau. In Vasole, the well had been polluted by algae and in Tararo, the only existing water source filled with salt water during high tides. In Nagholau, water tanks were connected to a primary school and clinic, which did not previously have access to water.

The High Commission also funded a kindy to enable preschool education in the isolated Tausese village, accessible only by a boat through a crocodile-infested river.

Ms Davis said Australia was pleased to be able to assist community groups and organisations from all over Solomon Islands to improve their living standards. "Every one of these Direct Aid Program projects, in its own small way, helps Solomon Islands as a whole to become a more peaceful, self-confident and prosperous nation", she said.

Ms Davis was impressed by the initiative of each community she visited, who had worked hard to implement the projects and devised innovative ways of connecting the water tanks to collect rainwater. She saw first-hand the dedication and creativity of teachers at Tausese school, working with limited resources to equip the children to meet the challenges of the future. She enjoyed a warm welcome from communities and excellent Isabel hospitality.

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a small grants program designed to help community groups improve their living standards. DAP will provide SBD 500 000 for 30 community projects across Solomon Islands this year. The High Commission welcomes DAP applications from communities that need a helping hand to achieve their goals.