A community in Papua Guinea came together to construct a system to improve the water quality of their entire village.
In the remote village of Masingara in Western Province, the people have been determined to improve the quality of life in their community.
For years, people in the area had been sourcing their water from an unprotected pond outside the village. Despite it being fed by a natural spring, the water quality was very poor and people had to travel long distances to collect it.
Locals say the pond was used by the first missionaries who arrived in the area more than 150 years ago.
The people of Masingara spoke to their local government Ward Member and village Development Committee about possibilities for new water infrastructure and found out what they needed: a ‘spring box’ to extract the water before it becomes contaminated, and a large header tank to store and pump the water to three points across the village.
They sought expertise from the United Church of Papua New Guinea (UCPNG) water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program team and funding for materials through the Australian Government Church Partnership Program (CPP).
The people then mobilised their community and church to support the venture through donations and volunteer labour.
The whole community contributed, applying a philosophy of ‘sweat equity’ to ensure everyone played their part bringing stones and gravel to the construction sites, digging trenches and installing the pipes.
The project was a huge success, with water now being pumped by solar power from the spring box to the header tower and then on to three locations across the village.
UCPNG WASH Program Team Leader Clement Nusama said he was thrilled to see the determination of the community to see the project through and hopes it will inspire future development projects in the area.
“When the team and volunteers finally connected up the pipes to the spring head, they were excited to see how clear the water was when it flowed to the surface, compared to how murky and filled with algae it was,” he said.
Well done to the people of Masingara, UCPNG and the Church Partnership Program (CPP) for working together to bring clean water to another remote community in Papua New Guinea!
The PNG Church Partnerships for Community Service project impacted the lives of 14,300 people over the past financial year.