In May 2014, GVI completed a month long WASH initiative in Yaqeta village, in the central Yasawa islands. Alongside a focus on hygiene and sanitation education and awareness, this project successfully increased the capacity for available drinking water in the village by 42,000 litres. Following a recent assessment on the development and sustainability of this initiative; The GVI team set out to further improve the quality and quantity of available drinking water available in Yaqeta.
This conclusion was based on an assessment of the community’s cumulative drinking water requirements, current available water and potential future water storage facilities. Based on the data volunteers and staff had collected and analysed, it was clear that Yaqeta, due to population size, was in need of more rainwater capacity to ensure the recommended minimum of 3 litres of drinking water per person per a day could be continually achieved throughout the year and throughout the increasingly severe dry season. Therefore, a further two rainwater harvesting systems were installed, increasing potential capacity by a further 10, 600 litres bringing the overall total of potential drinking water capacity made available by the project to 52,600 litres.
The installation of two new tanks was much appreciated by the people of Yaqeta and will increase the overall amount of available drinking water by a significant amount. In terms of future projects in Yaqeta, it is felt for the time being that all potential work has been carried out. It would be beneficial, however, to regularly check on tanks, the ongoing water situation and be in contact with new leadership as it is elected. It is also recommended that GVI continues to assess the sanitation situation at Yaqeta Primary School, giving advice and recommendations to ensure that good hygiene and sanitation practices are upheld.
Thank you for continuing to support this program and our WASH initiatives!
All the best
I'm excited to announce that GVI have completed a month long Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) initiative which involved the installation of new hand washing stations and the delivery of basic hygiene education. To date this initiative has increased the village of Yaqeta’s potable rainwater holding capacity by an additional 42,000L!
This project run has been run in close collaboration with the community of Yaqeta village, formally known as Matayalevu. Yaqeta is one of the largest villages in the Northern Yasawas. Like many of the villages within the district, water security continues to be a major issue for the community. This is fundamentally caused by a lack of rainwater in the dry season but exacerbated by inadequate water infrastructure, a lack of maintenance on existing rainwater harvesting systems and a general lack of education and knowledge on the best ways to collect and store water. In line with GVI’s goal to promote water security throughout the central and northern regions of the Yasawas, the GVI community team felt that it was imperative to work to address water scarcity issues within this village as part of a comprehensive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiative.
Tank installation and maintenance
The provision, installation and maintenance of rainwater tanks has significantly improved the capacity for fresh drinking water within Yaqeta village. This project has worked directly towards Millennium Development Goal Target 7.C which is to ‘halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation’ (United Nations, 2013). GVI has ensured that a further 42,000L of fresh rainwater can now be collected throughout the village. This was achieved through the provision additional water tanks and also through basic improvements the performance of existing collection infrastructure through repairs and general improvements.
Members of the community were eager to assist and the importance of regular maintenance of water tanks was emphasised during village meetings. GVI helped to ensure that specific members of the village were tasked with the maintenance of each tank, in an effort to ensure that the community collectively arranged ways for individuals to take ownership of the installed tanks.
Hand washing stations and hygiene education
To address the issue of the lack of hygiene facilities, GVI have completed the construction of basic hand washing stations referred to as tippy taps (the design originating from India) within Yaqeta village. Seven Tippy taps stations (5 in the village, 2 at Yaqeta School) were been built, equating to 175L of available hand washing water. This simple structure uses materials which can be found around the village to produce a tipping container controlled by a foot lever. This creates a hands-free washing station which can be easily reproduced by all families within the village. Practical workshops on how to construct tippy taps were also delivered, and the GVI team helped individual households to build hand washing facilities.
GVI Fiji will continue monitor water security and hygiene facilities within Yaqeta over the coming months. A follow up tank maintenance workshop will also be held to ensure the rainwater harvesting systems are being correctly cleaned and maintained. Hygiene awareness will also be integrated into the primary school curriculum in the new term and the newly installed hand washing stations will continue to be maintained and their use encouraged by school teachers. This new WASH initiative has been highly successful and well received in Yaqeta and will provide the basis for our future community projects within the area.
Located on the northern coast of Nacula Island, Navotua is one of the most isolated villages on Nacula Island and is home to 100 villagers. This community has limited sources of income and limited transport options. In 2012 Navotua Village was severely damaged by the high winds associated with Cyclone Evan. As well as damage to buildings there was widespread damage to village water infrastructure. Navotua was found to have a severe deficit when it came the drinking water required to safely support the village population.
Approximately 100 people of Navotua depended on two 20,000L concrete tanks fed by rainwater for their drinking water. In addition- two houses in the village have their own tanks that only their families’ use. The village has 8 taps that supply water for cooking, washing and bathing. These taps are fed by a 40,000L tank, which in turn, is fed by a nearby spring. There are also four wells, one that can be pumped into a reserve 20,000L tank that can feed the taps in the village if the 40,000L tank is empty. The three other wells are used for washing, bathing and to water crops.
The village had been required to ration drinking water by opening the two existing drinking water tanks every Wednesday and allowing people to fill as many containers as they feel is necessary to last throughout the week. However, one 20,000L tank was damaged, leaving the village with only one 20,000L tank.
This project, supported also by MWH global grant, funded and installed three complete 5,300 Litre Rainwater Harvesting systems and improved the catchment and reliability of an existing 10,000 litre system. The villagers of Navotua were involved with the construction of the systems and trained in the proper upkeep of the catchment. In the months following the project, there have been no reported water shortages in Navotua Village.
We look forward to bringing you similar stories from other villages as we progress!
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A major emphasis of this project is directed towards hygiene and water conservation awareness in three schools- Ratu Meli Memorial Primary School (Nacula Village, Yasawas), Navunisea Primary School (Silana Village, Dawasamu District) and The Dawasamu Secondary School (Dawasamu District). Through GVI’s Education Enrichment program, volunteers helped to deliver activities and awareness lessons on hand washing, safe drinking water sources in the village, and the importance of turning off taps and conserving water at all times. These lessons, paired with the improvements to the water systems in school compounds, has created a solid base for ongoing education and improvements to the level of general daily hygiene in each of these schools.
The Dawasamu Secondary School is located two and half hours north of Suva City down a rough coastal road. Around 170 students from the fifteen villages and three settlements that make up the Dawasamu District and the remote Nakorotubu district attend this secondary school daily. As the only secondary school in the immediate region, there is ongoing pressure on the facilities of the school compound. The school facilities and teachers’ quarters rely on a nearby dam as their water source. This dam is in poor condition and is an unreliable and unprotected water source. During heavy rain, dirt and residue from the surrounding hill sides rush into the dam contaminating the source.
During an initial visit to assess the water situation, the MWH water project team found that all the taps in the compound were producing thick brown water. The teachers of the school reported that many of the students had become sick and that no one was drinking the water and that most of the 200 students and teachers in the compound either drank very little water or relied on surrounding villages and settlements for water. During the third phase of the MWH project, the team constructed a new 5,300litre rainwater harvesting system which is now collecting water from the new school roof.
The school now has a reliable drinking water source for both students and resident teachers!
Thank you for supporting this program.
Vinaka vaka levu
The construction team has had a productive week of installing rainwater harvesting systems Nacula village! Here is the story of building a water tank for a member of the community called Joseph by a volunteer.
Many thanks for supporting people, like Joseph and his family in 2013. We hope you will continue to support and help us give water to more families and communities in 2014!
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