Health
 Fiji
Project #12090

Fresh Drinking Water for Villagers in Fiji

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust
Vetted

Dear Supporters,

GVI Fiji has been extremely busy over the past few months, helping to repair and restore damaged rainwater harvesting infrastructure in the villages of Moturiki Island. Following on with this work, we are excited to announce the next phase in provision of better access to clean water in rural communities. During our extensive time in the various rural villages on Moturiki Island, our team discovered that there was a large amount of water storage capacity that had fallen into disrepair and was no longer being used. Large concrete water tanks were in place in several villages and were not being used simply due to minor damage such as cracks and leaks.

Concrete tanks are particularly well suited for water storage in these communities because they are strong, sturdy, and typically have much larger capacities than newer plastic tanks. Unlike the more modern plastic rainwater harvesting tanks, they are also far more likely to survive cyclone conditions. Each of the concrete tanks were built in the past through village youth projects, and have a capacity of around 30 000L.

Over the next few months we are visiting, five of the villages on the island of Moturiki and assisting by carrying out repairs to eight of these damaged concrete water reservoirs, aiming to restore about 240 000L of rainwater storage capacity simply through repairs. This project also highlights the value in carrying out pre-emptive needs assessments in the communities prior to investing in new infrastructure, and ensuring that donor funds are used as judiciously as possible.

To ensure that the assistance and interventions provided have a sustainable, long-lasting impact on the communities we work with – GVI Fiji also carries out workshops in the villages where rainwater harvesting repairs or investment is conducted. These workshops cover topics like tank cleaning and maintenance, and ensure that local communities are equipped with the skills and knowledge to ensure that they protect and maintain their water sources in the village.

The continued efforts to restore and improve access to clean water through rainwater harvesting repairs and other interventions on the island of Moturiki ties in very closely with our ongoing WaSH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) program. In order to effectively implement basic WaSH protocols, the starting point is a clean water source. By ensuring that we tackle these issues holistically, GVI Fiji can ensure that the work that we carry out is long lasting and sustainable, a critical component of our conceptual framework on all our projects.

Kind Regards,

The GVI Community Development Team

WaSH lessons
WaSH lessons

Dear Supporters,

It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce the completion of a comprehensive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) programme completed for school classes in Year 5-8. Our wash program runs parallel to our other projects, including increasing water security and other basic infrastructure in the region.

The past month has seen a particular focus on our WaSH in Dawasamu District. WaSH plays a key role in a community’s health and has become even more vital since Cyclone Winston. The immediate physical impact and destruction from the cyclone was tremendous, however, it also impacted many sources of clean water and left those villages affected particularly vulnerable to the spread of bacteria and disease.

It is easy to understand that hand washing falls down the list of priorities when rebuilding a community, but its importance is even greater post-cyclone. This is where the WaSH programme comes in; to educate, motivate and protect people through a greater understanding and regular practice of good sanitation and hygiene practices.

The local primary school has been one of the main focuses for the WaSH programme. Units for year groups 1-4 and 5-8 have been created which will be implemented over the next few months by the education team based at Navunisea District School (NDS). This works towards a long-term goal of reducing preventable illness where possible in the Dawasamu District.

In order to ensure that the WaSH lessons were fun, educational, well received and could easily align with the curriculum already set out for the school, lesson plans were designed to be integrated into PEMAC lessons (P.E, Music, Arts and Crafts). These are some of the most popular lessons for both students and teachers and allow important information to be delivered in an engaging context.

Getting Creative

One of the most memorable ways to teach basic concepts about using soap, washing hands and sanitary defecation is through songs. Lyrics were written or altered to familiar tunes so that they were easy to pick up and videos were made so that future volunteers and teachers can watch them and hear the words and see the actions together. These worked well in Music lessons and gave them a dual purpose.

A reoccurring theme when talking to people about their current hand washing behaviour is that people will wash their hands if they are visibly dirty but not otherwise. A key part of teaching has been highlighting that germs are microscopic and even though we may look clean we aren't. Part of the challenge with teaching WaSH is making it relevant and comprehendible, especially for the children. To make the invisible visible for the youngest children (years 1-4) a story was written and illustrated. Titled the 'Land of Hands' the story is set on the hand of a Fijian boy called Josefa, a small village lives on his hand with good and bad germs. the bad germs treat the village badly and make Josefa feel ill, to combat this he washes his hands and the bad germs are washed away and everyone lives happily ever after. 

WaSH covers a wide range of topics and often dips into others, by starting with a WaSH programme we can progress into other areas like Rain Water Harvesting, purifying drinking water, First Aid and preventing infection.

Many of the resources are locally relevant with hand drawn pictures allowing children in rural areas to relate to the content. The lesson packs, like all other GVI resources, are open source and will be presented to the Fiji government with the option to disseminate to other schools. The programme is also being shared with other GVI hubs worldwide with an aim to adapting to other local contexts.

Kind Regards,

The GVI Dawasamu Team

Materials Made
Materials Made
Worksheets
Worksheets
Outdoor lesson time!
Outdoor lesson time!
Promoting hand washing and hygiene
Promoting hand washing and hygiene

Dear Supporters, 

We are pleased to let you know that we have used your donations to replace two water tanks that were damaged beyond repair during the recent Cyclone Winston. We endeavored to repair as many tanks as possible, but 2 were beyond repair so have been replaced.

But today we would like to update you about our WASH initiative since Cyclone Winston.

Greater access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene after a disaster has hit, can lessen the impact of diarrhea outbreaks, and reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality associated with faecal-oral infections which often increase in incidence following a natural or man-made disaster.

In some emergencies and post-emergency situations, diarrhea can be responsible for the majority of deaths. Realizing the importance of providing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene during this time, and ensuring the spread of disease needs to be accompanied by encouraging hygiene promotion and working and clean sanitation facilities. 

Since the devastating effects of cyclone Winston, GVI Fiji have interacted with over 639 people, including nearly all the children, in the Dawasamu District, relying on the previous relationships built up within the community to effectively assist post- disaster and promote the effective provision of WASH facilities and awareness

Following TC Winston, GVI Fiji have worked on, and are continuing to assist with: 

  • Resupplying village and settlements with basic hygiene necessities, and regularly checking in with each villages to assess requirements. Overall GVI have supplied 193 soap bars, 65 packs of mosquito coils, 60 kerosene lamps with fuel, 19 bottles of bleach
  • Carried out repairs to 8 cyclone-damaged rainwater harvesting systems, thus increasing access to safe drinkingwater.
  • Inspected the functionality of toilets, ensuring there is 1 toilet to 50 people (the WHO maximum ratio in emergencies) - most of the district had enough functioning toilets – but following the inspections GVI Fiji purchased the materials to repair two affected flush toilets.
  • Installed 4 Hand washing stations (i.e., Happy Taps) in an effort to increase access to safe hand-washing facilities in areas without working taps, mainly near the kitchen or next to toilets. As well as ensuring safe water is in sufficient quantity for regular hand washing to be achieved, GVI has ensured the availability of soap, using a soap on a rope and the delivery of soap to all households in the district.
  • Supplied 45 UNICEF Emergency WASH posters in Fijian to homes throughout district.

Following TC Winston GVI Fiji have promoted safe WASH practices though:

  • Carrying out hygiene promotion strategies to encourage hand washing with soap and other hygienic behavior practices.
  • Developed a WASH presentation that is delivered to children of all ages, small adult groups and during house-to-house visits. These presentations proved to be successful, and already women are asking for advice regarding health and hygiene.
  • Engaged children in a hand washing song, and playing hand games with glitter to depict how germs spread.
  • Provided adults with the WASH presentation and showed a video to highlighting the way cholera is spread; stressing the likelihood of disease transmission after a disaster and encouraging hand washing with soap, listing all the appropriate times.
  • Discussed water safety, the need for boiling and the ease of using the SODIS method (Solar Disinfection - clear water bottles filled with water shaken with air bubbles and placed on tin roofing to absorb the sun’s UV rays) as an effective way method to purifywater.
  • Assisted and encouraged water supply maintenance and cleaning, with rain water harvesting tanks being checked for any open piping and covered with mesh to stop the tank from any foreign objects falling in from theoutside.

Following the aftermath of Cyclone Winston, GVI will continue to check into each village in the Dawasamu District, inquiring about the health of the village and their sanitary and water needs. GVI understand the need to address sanitation, hygiene and access to water within each village and settlement, and believe the communities have been working hard to stop the spread of disease while they go through this difficult time.

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. 

With Gratitude, 

GVI FIJI

 

Learning about hygiene and the spread of germs
Learning about hygiene and the spread of germs

Links:

One of the tanks blew 400 m away
One of the tanks blew 400 m away

Dear Supporter, 

On the 20th and 21st of February a massive Tropical Cyclone, dubbed Cyclone Winston, hit the island nation of Fiji. It has cut a massive path of destruction across Fiji. Winds were gusting up to 200miles an hour and waves were over the height of the coastal houses. Cyclone Winston blew off roofs, took down walls, uprooted trees, snapped power lines like matchsticks and leaf a huge number of people with absolutely nothing. 

Winds were gusting up to 200miles an hour and waves were over the height of the coastal houses. Cyclone Winston blew off roofs, took down walls, uprooted trees, snapped power lines like matchsticks and leaf a huge number of people with absolutely nothing. 

The villages that we work in in the Dawasamu District have suffered greatly and most of their homes have been completely destroyed. The destructive force did not leave the precious rainwater tanks alone- a lot of them have been very badly damaged. 

We have managed to recover some of them and we will assess what repairs can be done and which tanks can be reconnected. We have also purchased water purification filters and tablets so that we can try and prevent the consumption of potentially harmful water. 

A huge priority for the team at the moment is to promote safe WASH practice to help prevent the risk of illness and disease.  We have also been working with the children to promote the importance of hand washing. 

In the coming months there is a lot of work ahead of us, one of which will be to properly access the water situation. We will keep you posted. 

With Gratitude, 

GVI Fiji

Links:

The new toilet block
The new toilet block

Dear Supporter, 

As part of our wider water project here in Fiji we have been woking on installing composting toilets. Global Vision International (GVI) in partnership with Australian Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP) have successfully handed over six compost toilets to Ratu Meli Memorial School (RMMS). The handover was formally presented to RMMS Headmaster

Global Vision International (GVI) in partnership with Australian Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP) have successfully handed over six compost toilets to Ratu Meli Memorial School (RMMS). The handover was formally presented to RMMS Headmaster Mr Sekope and the School Committee in November 2015.

Located on Nacula, in the Northern Yasawa Islands, the school is prone to drought and relies on rainwater as the primary source of fresh water. RMMS has 115 students, of which 54 are borders. GVI previously installed a single compost toilet unit in 2013 on the school grounds to ensure that the students had access to toilet facilities during the dry season. Unfortunately, during a recent bush fire, this composting toilet was destroyed. Since then the children have relied on three pit toilets in the school’s compound. These pit toilets were full and still in use, risking the spread of harmful communicable diseases.

As per the initial agreement, 2 compost toilet blocks were constructed at different sites within the school compound. The four-block structure is located behind the school assembly hall and the additional two-block structure is located near the boarding dormitories for easy access for the large number of students who board at the school. In addition to the compost toilet construction, the team also carried out repairs to water pipes between the school well and existing flush toilet block which were damaged during the same bush fire.

Alongside the construction, extensive training and awareness sessions were carried out with all stakeholders involved. Based on previous awareness sessions, this crucial training will help ensure the correct use and upkeep of the compost toilet. All sessions were productive and well received during the RMMS project.

In collaboration with GVI, the teachers delivered these lessons to students from Kindergarten up to Class 8 and focused on 4 key themes; hand washing, the compost cycle, toilet structure and correct use of a compost toilet. These lessons combined informative presentations with interactive activities and group tasks to help ensure learning objectives were achieved.

Water in Fiji is a scarce and precious resource and we are happy that we can implement projects such as this that helps.

With Gratitude, 

GVI Fiji

The finished product!
The finished product!
Hand washing lessons
Hand washing lessons
Hand washing with the kindy kids
Hand washing with the kindy kids

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Location: Exeter, Devon - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.gvi.org
Project Leader:
Kate Robey
St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom

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