Pictured above, nine (9) years old Daphany Clerine (left) and her cousin and best friend, eleven (11) years old Delma Horos (right) from Kobuana village in the Central Islands Province, pointing towards the mainland across the sea where their community usually get their drinking water when their rain water tank rans dry.
Delma explained that it is where people in her community normally go to fetch for clean drinking water. “Everyone, of us including my parents would either paddle across or if there is enough petrol would use our outboard motor engine to travel across the sea to collect our drinking water when our tanks are empty because our only two community wells are not good to drink”.
Daphany quickly interrupted, “And i don’t like travelling that distance when the sun is hot and also it is frightening to travel across the sea during bad weather”.
Since Saturday, 12th of December 2020, this was no longer the case for these two little girls and their community of around sixty (60) people following the official handing over and opening of their community’s newly installed water supply system.
“We are so happy that we can now easily go to bath, fill our drinking bottles and help our mothers to wash our clothes and dishes too”, said the duo.
Thanks to the European Union which provided funding through the 11th European Development Funds (11th EDF) and implemented by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Central Province provincial government and the province’s RWASH health team. The Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination is the National Authorising Office for European Development Funds.
Carol Philie, a mother of 3 said the new water supply system is truly a blessing. “I remember once when paddling across to the mainland with some of the other mothers, under the blistering heat of the sun, we talked about how easy life would be for us if only a water system is in place in our community. It has been our cry in the past decades to have water available right next to our homes as such today’s event is truly a blessing and a prayer answered”.
“So I really wanted to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the European Union which I heard provided money for this project, the government through the ministries of National Planning, and Development Coordination and Health and Medical Services including the provincial government and RWASH team in Central Province”.
Kobuana community WASH Committee Chairman Mr. Hudson Philie explained that the desperation for availability of water in the community had motivated everyone to come out and support the project.
“Since the establishment of our small community some 40-50 years ago, access to water continued to remain the biggest problem and this has led to every single person in the community to support the project. Men and even women all came out to help the offloading of materials from the loading craft to the shore, laying of water pipes, building basements for the storage tank, tap stands and so forth. Truly was an amazing experience for all of us.
He added, “The project is also unique in that it does not only install the needed water supply but along with it also came trainings to build community capacity and enhance capabilities through provision of repair and maintenance tools so we can continue to maintain and ensure that the system continues to service our community with water”, said Mr Philie.
He added “truly amazing and with this we have made commitment to making sure that we work together as a community to maintain the water supply for ourselves today and our into the future for our children.
Kobuana community is amongst five (5) other communities in Central Islands Province that are recipients of the EU funded water supply projects which is part and parcel of overall funding provided by EU through MNPDC and implemented by MHMS to improve rural water, sanitation and hygiene across Solomon Islands. Total project value for the Kobuana Community is SBD Seventy five thousand dollars (SBD $75,000).