Over 3,000 villagers in Santo rural benefit from rainwater tanks  

Port Vila, 02 November 2018 — 11 rural communities from various areas on the island of Santo have benefitted from water tanks donated under a project funded by the Goldie Knight Foundation, an Australian based charitable organisation.

This project aims at improving water, sanitation and hygiene situation of communities in Vanuatu. It started in 2016, with phase 1 on the island of Tanna where 10 communities benefited from the construction of rainwater harvesting systems, tap stands, water pumps and latrines depending on the community needs.

The second phase targeted the province of Sanma (Santo /Malo), specifically communities from East Santo: Waisale, Manioc, Sara 2, Loran; South Santo: Sarete area 2; Lijiwi at Fanafo, Windau and Vusvongo at Big Bay Bush, Wael buluk at Stone hill, Malokilikili on Malo island.

Vanuatu Red Cross Society, as the implementing actor in this project, is working alongside Sanma Provincial Government and Area Secretaries to assess and identify communities that have no other sources of water access than rainwater harvesting.

“These communities received new rainwater tanks to assist in easing water stress during the dry season. VRCS volunteers worked with communities to install the tanks in public areas so that all community members could access the water” stated Ms Shirley Johnson, Sanma Red Cross Branch Manager.

The communities were chosen following advice from the Sanma Provincial Government that these communities often faced water shortages and could benefit greatly from increased water storage. Some communities were very remote and presented significant logistical challenges in the transport of the tanks and construction equipment however through the dedication of the volunteers, these challenges were overcome. As a result, 11 water tanks of 3000 Litre & 5000 L were installed in the last couple of weeks, reaching 3124 people.