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Safe Water for Remote Communities (PNG)

Lack of clean water supplies in isolated rural communities in Papua New Guinea affects women and children the most, with both the burden of carrying water and the incidence of water-borne diseases.

For almost 20 years the United Church in PNG has been providing water tanks, gravity fed systems, and taps close to home.

But hardware wasn’t enough, people’s behaviour needs to change. The “Rait Mama” campaign in Milne Bay targets women as change agents who encourage their family and community members to wash their hands with soap, taking care with food preparation and toilet use. Finally, we are seeing decreases in waterborne disease as a result of the campaign.

You can help!




This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, we’re making a huge difference together; lifting families out of poverty and helping people improve their lives.

Check out the impact we’re making!

Our Impact (FY 20-21)

6,474 people impacted by:

• Water and sanitation facilities such as toilets, handwashing bays, soaps and masks

• Community mentors in communities, schools and health posts to provide critical health education

• Volunteers trained to provide COVID-19 awareness in remote communities.


COVID-19 Pandemic response

Our partner the United Church in Papua New Guinea (UCPNG) is working hard to prepare its health services for a COVID-19 outbreak, linking staff into training and procuring PPE. It is also instrumental in disseminating vital health messages amongst its congregations through newsletters, radio and awareness raising activities in communities (with appropriate social distancing). In key locations, staff are setting up hand washing facilities and distributing soap. The Papua New Guinea Government’s preparation and response strategies recognise the crucial role that churches play in communities. Our partner is actively collaborating with the government and other church partners, so that there is a strong and cohesive national approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19.


Papua New Guinea


United Church in PNG


Poverty Alleviation

News from the field

  • Church partners in PNG were ready for COVID-19Church partners in PNG were ready for COVID-19
    Our partners, the United Church in Papua New Guinea (UCPNG), have been running a successful behaviour change campaign for many years, teaching thousands of people about the importance of clean water and good hygiene. When the pandemic hit Papua New Guinea, they were ready to expand this work to include COVID-19 awareness and prevention, and they’ve been out in force educating communities about the threats of COVID-19 and the importance of regular hand washing. With the permission of the PNG Government, ...
  • COVID-19 crisis response in Papua New GuineaCOVID-19 crisis response in Papua New Guinea
    Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. Our partners the United Church in Papua New Guinea (UCPNG) are working across 17 communities in Milne Bay province to run COVID-19 awareness sessions and installing handwashing stations with soap, instructional posters and steps so children can reach (see left of pic 1). Supported by the Australian Government Disaster READY initiative, UCPNG and other PNG church partners will be helping support the immediate needs of almost ...
  • Giving the power of choiceGiving the power of choice
    “It’s our choices that matter in the end. Not wishes, not words, not promises.” How many choices do you think you might make each day? Researchers suggest it’s about 35,000 choices – 227 relating to food alone. Little wonder so many of us have choice paralysis! So what guides our decisions? Some are impulsive, some are emotional, some come from rationally weighing up the facts. Too many are just unconscious, routine. We do things because it’s the way we’ve always done them. But as so ...
  • UnitingWorld launches interactive ‘choices’ videoUnitingWorld launches interactive 'choices' video
    The new interactive video highlights the difficult choices faced by people working to overcome poverty. The video follows the story of 15-year-old Rani, who lives in a remote costal village in Papua New Guinea. With limited access to reliable water, she must make difficult choices every day that put her health, education and safety at risk. The interactive video aims to highlight how the restriction of choices in the developing world can be fatal, and how we in Australia can use ...
  • “Rait Mama, Rait Famili, Rait Komuniti” – Safe Water in PNG“Rait Mama, Rait Famili, Rait Komuniti” – Safe Water in PNG
    For two years now, a passionate team in Papua New Guinea has been trialing a new, innovative campaign to raise awareness about health and sanitation and the importance of washing hands with soap. In rural PNG, water and sanitation levels are low, open defecation is common practice, and women and girls and people with disability are particularly vulnerable to water‐borne diseases. Therefore, in the participatory design of the project, handwashing with soap by mothers was selected as the main behaviour ...