We are raising funds to promote the supply of clean drinking water. Kiriwina Island is flat, with no rivers and no naturally-occurring fresh drinking water. While the underground water table is easily accessed as it is shallow, it is of brackish quality and frequently not potable, although suitable for bathing (and is so used for the 55,000 Kiriwina inhabitants). The village toilets and household rubbish from about 80 villages contaminate it further.
While on Kiriwina we inspected the recently installed water pumps in the Kavataria High School grounds and the village of Kuluwa, which were ceremoniously opened with much fanfare. Sadly, due to poor weather and logistics we were unable to visit our two other recent water pump installations in the more remote villages of Kenobasi and Wakesa.
Our wonderful plumber Mr Koega accompanied us on our inspections and explained how many unfinished NGO pump sites there are around the Island which are in need of completion, maintenance or parts.
After the Kiriwina High School had to be closed for several weeks due to water shortages, CFK AusAid came to the rescue and installed water pumps to the High School to ensure a more reliable source of potable water for students and teachers alike. We also installed three other water pumps across the Island and repaired three others.
CFK mid-wife Jacqui Andrews using the girls water pump named in her honour with Losuia High School girls and our CFK plumber Mr Koega.
As we identify the villages in the most need of potable water, it is evident there are still more pumps to be installed and more pumps to be completed or repaired.
Case Studies on Water difficulties on Kiriwina
Case Study 1 – Water Problems at Kuyawa and Munuwata Islands
The water problem affecting Kuyawa and Munuwata islands was reported by a VBA representing Kuyawa and Munuwata Islands.
Kuyuwa and Munuwata islands are two small atols near to the main island of Kaileuna which is approximately 1 hour dinghy ride to the main island of Kiriwina. Approximately 600 inhabitants of Kuyawa and 500 inhabitants of Munuwata islands. These peoples ‘lifestyle is mainly on sea food. These people are worse in terms of food and water when a pro-long dry season occurs.
Sourcing fresh and clean water is a very difficult life for the people of Kuyawa and Munuwata islands. They once had a dug up water wells where all the people access fresh waster from these wells. However, when corpses of the dead people were buried near to the wells, the wells were contaminated. These people cannot drink water any more from these dug up wells until to this day. The people dug small pools along the seashore mixed with salt and fresh water. The people rush to get fresh water when there is low tide and when high tide comes on, the pools are covered with salt water. There is only one water tank installed in each village, however, is not enough to cater for the growing population. The two villages have church building and community school where rain water can be accessed however, the people cannot afford water tanks. These villages need water tanks to access rain water and this is the only source of fresh and clean water.
Case Study 2 – Water Problems at Kapwapu Village
Kapwapu Village is situated on the middle of Kiriwina main island. These village is the most dryest village on Kiriwina. Digging water well would take 20 to 30 metres deep to access water from the ground. The village had existing water pump however, is already old and the pipes are being corroded and rusting away, however, the people still access water from this pump as the only means of accessing water. Life is difficult especially for birthing mothers, babies and children. The VBA who came from this village expressed her village water sate of conditon with tears and begging for CFK to look into their condition and assist with a water pump.
Case Study 3 – Water problems Kaibola/Kapwani/Yuwada Villages and other village from the North of Kiriwina
The VBA’s who came from this part of the island (Northern part of Kiriwina). These villages live at high altitude above sea level and live on the rockiest part of the island. Digging water wells is very difficult as the foundation of the ground is sitting on hard rocks very difficult to break and even the drill cannot penetrate through the layers of rocks. The only means the people access water is climbing down steep rocks down into the caves to access water. Climbing down the steep rocks is the same way to climb up with water containers placed in the heads of women and girls. Many fell from the steep rocks and hurt themselves as a result of accessing good and clean water. The VBA’s reported that in the past some have lost their lives for the sake of water. Life is truly difficult especially in need of good and clean drinking water. To resolve the issue is to install diesel water pumps where poly pipes are installed into the caves and pump water into the village connected to a tap or storage tank where people can easily access the water instead of climbing down steep rocks.
Case Study 4 – Water problems for villages inland (Obweriya/Okaikoda/Obowada/Kabwaku/Omarakana
The villages located inland of Kiriwina Island, have access water through dug up wells, however, need water pumps to secure good, clean and heathy water. People in these villages dig open wells and use ropes and buckets to fetch water. The wells are kept open 24 hours are day which is not healthy. There were instances where rubbish is blown into the wells or animals fall into these wells causing unhealthy water. These villages are need of water pumps to have clean and good water for drinking, cooking and washing.
Case Study 5 – Water Problems Southern part of Kiriwina
Villages located on the Southern part of Kiriwina have same water issues as the above four stories.
There are villages where water can be accessed from caves and need diesel engine water to pump water from the caves to the villages. There are villages where they access water from pools dug at the beach front mix with fresh and salty water. These villages need clean and fresh water through tanks however, the village people cannot afford to buy water tanks. There are villages which access water through dug up wells; however, they do not have the funds to buy water pumps and this village still access water from dug up open wells.
From the stories above, the most affected people are pregnant mothers, breast feeding mothers and babies, old age, women and girls. Some walk distances to access water. 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 area 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 In-Country Manager
7th July 2019
July 2019 report from In-country Manager
- – Water pumps
Almost the entire island of Kiriwina and including the small surrounding islands are in desperate need of good clean fresh water. People living in small islands of Kiriwina access water through rain and through dug up water wells where water is mixture of fresh and salt water.
People living on the North part of Kiriwina main island, people access water through caves, however, people especially women and girls have difficulties and are exposed to danger of climbing down rocky pathways down into the caves to access water. To gain access into caves to access water is very risky and dangerous.
People living in the centre of Kiriwina main island access water through dug up wells and rain. People living on the Southern part of the main island of Kiriwina access water through rain and dug up water wells. Water sources on Kiriwina is 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 rotting away. Some people had to pay to get water especially privately owned pumps and water tanks.
CFK has purchased five water pumps and will be installed in the following areas:
- 2 pumps to be installed at Kiriwina High School to cater for the students attending school from all over Kiriwina.
- 1 pump to be installed at Kavataria Village due to the largest population on Kiriwina and will provide water to nearby villages of Mulosaida and Oyabia-Orabesi.
- 1 pump to be installed at Okaikoda Village to cater for inland villages close to Okaikoda.
- 1 pump to be installed at Kapwapu Village where this village is driest village on Kiriwina and difficult in sourcing water.
I wish to recommend, based on the urgency and need of clean and fresh water on Kiriwina, for another ten water pumps or more to be purchased and installed on Kiriwina.
If you can donate, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Please CLICK HERE where you could use PayPal or Credit Card.