Almost the entire island of Kiriwina, including the small surrounding islands are in desperate need of good clean fresh water. People living on Kiriwina and surrounding islands source water through rain harvesting and wells with water pumps. Due to a lack of rain, tank water is scarce, and there are not enough wells. Our in-country manager Toks Bwaina reports:
The Kiriwina High School Headmaster informed me that one of the issues faced by the school is water problems. The school has water tanks, however, water is only available after rainy days. At this time of the year, there was little rain and the school used all its water and as a result, the school sent all the students home two weeks earlier than the end of term.
CFK has organised five water pumps to be purchased and installed on Kiriwina, Two of these have been pledged to the Kiriwina High School.
For those living on the north part of Kiriwina Island, people are now sourcing water from naturally formed limestone caves. However, accessing these caves down rocky pathways is difficult and dangerous, especially for women and girls. Toks said:
People living in the centre and southern parts of Kiriwina source water through dug up wells and rain harvesting. The water sources on Kiriwina are not a problem. The problem is how to access these water sources. There were water pumps previously installed by Catholic Church and other donor agencies, however, many of them were broken down due to lack of maintenance. Some villages informed that there were wells bored by a church run organization (funded by the current member for Kiriwina-Goodenough) and pipes were installed into these bore wells without pumps. To date people are not accessing any water and the pipes are rusting away. Some people had to pay to get water from privately owned pumps and water tanks.
The people most affected by this lack of water are pregnant and breast feeding mothers and babies, the elderly, women and girls. Some walk great distances to access drinkable water. Toks explains:
Life is difficult in terms of accessing good and clean water. There are already water sources available on Kiriwina, however to access these water sources is most difficult due to funding issues.
The people of Kiriwina really need and appreciate donors to support and provide clean, fresh and good water for drinking, cooking and washing. CFK is committed to helping the residents on Kiriwina source good water. We have contact with an experienced pump installer on the Island who will manage installation and maintenance of the manual hand pumps and piping.