The Challenging Search for Water

Children in Solomon Islands

Water is life, a basic human right.

Meet Amy, Agnes and Josan, three children who love their life in Napir Village in the Temotu Province of the Solomon Islands. As 10, eight and six-year-olds, the children are full of energy and the joys of life, but the reality is, for almost two hours a day they must walk to find clean safe drinking water.

They are enrolled at the local school, but some days the lack of clean water stops them from even getting there. The constant need to walk long distances to fetch water and ration the limited water they have has multiple negative impacts on the children and their communities.

At dawn Amy, Agnes and Josan walk four kilometres to a spring river source where they collect water in containers and carry it back to their village for their family. The water fetched is used for drinking only and they must again look for water to wash and cook.

“This means the next generation is missing out on an education and a chance to play and learn like children should,” says a Community Elder.

There is no shortage of rain and at low tide water flows from natural springs, but, without sanitation facilities in the village, the sea is the only option for toileting, bathing, and washing which risks contaminating this natural water source which can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting and dysentery.

“Some of our children are still dying due to water borne illnesses without easy access to clean water and having to resort to drinking polluted water” says Amy’s Mother. She says Amy has been sick multiple times this year from water they have collected for their families.

Fortunately for the people of the Temotu Province, there is a defunct pump system that can be rehabilitated with the help of ChildFund and Greenergy Pacific, a local non-government organisation (NGO). “With the installation of a solar-powered pump and new pipes to the villages we can get this up and running again,” says Sharon Ione, CEO Greenergy Pacific.

Through Kiwi donations ChildFund can partner with local organisations to ensure its projects are grounded in a deep understanding of what these communities genuinely need. “One of the most important outcomes of this project is to supply the local medical clinic and school with clean water,” says Brenda Daya, Programme Manager, ChildFund NZ.

“We need to raise more than $150,000 to complete this water project and finish building a toilet block for the children at the local school in Napir Village.

“Together we can help support the children of Temotu Province and their communities, children just like Amy, Agnes and Josan.

“With clean water, and more time, these communities and their children will have the chance to thrive,” concludes Brenda.

*names have been shortened to protect the family’s privacy.

You can support the work we’re doing in the Pacific by supporting the ChildFund Water Run. Not only will you help bring safe clean drinking water to the children of the Pacific, you'll help give children the chance to learn and play, just like children should.