Port Vila, 09th September 2019 — Vanuatu Red Cross Society (VRCS) have partnered with Vanuatu Water Services Engie , Department of water (DoWR), and UNICEF to conduct the Water Quality option project on the islands of Tanna, Efate and Malekula. The project was funded by DoWR and UNICEF and implemented by Vanuatu Water Service who offered the water laboratory testing and procurement of different household water filters. Under this project, VRCS was engaged in the community mobilization, awareness and assessment, demonstration of the different product.
The objectives of the project are to gather information at national and provincial level on water needs specifically on “access to SAFE and clean water” aligned with the National Sustainable Development Plan; create a flyer with market information on Household water filters; Develop an action plan for DoWR and Ministry of Health when there’s incident of poor water quality results; Create IEC materials on Water quality; Selling and distribution of the Household Water filters …
In the month of May, 3 communities in North Efate were visited and assessed to have first feedbacks. In June, assessments were conducted at the Provincial headquarter including 7 communities in Tanna while in Malekula a Team was deployed in Provincial headquarters ,2 schools and 1 health centre.
A team of 3 staffs from Vanuatu Service Engie and Vanuatu Red Cross Society with its 16 volunteers participated in the survey.
Under this project, a total of 691 people in communities were involved in the survey where 63 % of people admitted that water access is an issue to their daily life because there was shortage of water supply. The survey results indicated that 89 % of the targeted communities declared that the effect for poor quality drinking water, according to their knowledge, lead to illnesses such as Diarrhoea, Abdominal pain, headache, Flu, vomiting. Asked what methods to use to improve quality drinking water, 536 people responded that boiling water is the common method used.
Vanuatu acknowledged its partners Department of Water and Vanuatu Service –Engie and UNICEF for the successful research trial done in partnership , also the contribution of Red Cross branches of Tafea and Malampa and their volunteers who have contributed a lot to the implementation of activities.