Two months after Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold passed through the Solomon Islands DIVIT rural training centre at Visale on North West Guadalcanal is still without clean drinking water.
TC Harold damaged homes and caused widespread flooding on Guadalcanal - stand taps, water pipes and water collection points at the rural training centre were buried after a landslide hit the area.
DIVIT Centre Principal, Sister Anna Ngasala, says the damage to their water supply has affected the need to observe proper sanitation and hygiene practises, which could easily turn into a serious health problem if not addressed.
“We urgently need water for our staff houses and our student’s dormitory, and water for our agriculture division to ensure our crops survive.
“At the moment we source and channel water from a nearby stream, but the water is dirty with a bad smell,” said Sister Anna.
Sister Anna says that the only water source that has kept them going are water tanks donated by Australia and New Zealand but says that it all depends on how often it rains.
She says when there is a shortage students have had to walk miles to get water from nearby villages – and the hours spent walking and collecting water is affecting their studies.
She is calling on relevant authorities to visit their school and make a proper assessment –and to ensure the centre has access to clean and safe water.
A 2015 baseline survey suggests that 54% of households have access to an improved water source, and 13% had access to an improved toilet.
These rates of coverage are some of the lowest in the world and the level of access is declining, significantly undermining the aim of improving the social and economic livelihoods of all Solomon Islands.