Australian High Commission
Honiara
Solomon Islands

Water tanks for Mt Alasa’a – A community success story from Malaita

16 June 2016

                                                       Water tanks for Mt Alasa’a – A community success story from Malaita

Australia is helping communities on Mt Alasa’a, Malaita access clean drinking water by providing twenty water tanks.

The Mt Alasa’a Community Water Tank Project has provided 1,209 people with access to clean drinking water through the construction of 20 water tanks across twelve communities as well as the Busurata Community High School and Busurata Health Clinic.

Australian High Commission Second Secretary Simon Downing and Direct Aid Program Officers Kennedy Folasi and May Samasoni recently visited Mt Alasa’a and saw the positive impacts from the easier access to clean water.

“Previously, people had to walk for many kilometres down a steep, muddy track to the Fiu River to access water. The other water source is a spring that was often polluted by pigs,” Mr Downing said.

“Access to clean water helps everyone in these communities. There is now more time for children to go to school, rather than collect water. While for adults there is more time for economic activities such as piggeries, poultry, coffee plantations and vegetable farming.”

“Accessing water from the Fiu River was also a dangerous activity. The water tanks reduce risks of injury and violence from long walks.”

The Australian officials met community leader, John Ossi, whose leadership was fundamental to this and other development projects on Mt Alasa’a.

“John Ossi is a former pastor who has decided that he would serve God by promoting development in his community,” Mr Downing said.

“John coordinated the DAP application and ensured that everyone across the Mt Alasa’a community contributed to the construction of the tanks through milling timber, constructing the bases, erecting water tanks, guttering and pipes, and finishing jobs.”

“It’s also inspiring to see John’s work beyond this project. The community has self-funded the construction of more class rooms at the Busurata Community High School and has plans for a new sanitation block and to purchase more books.”

“John is also working with local coffee growers to find markets for the crops from the 1500 trees in their plantations.”

The Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program aims to improve livelihoods in some of Solomon Islands’ most remote and disadvantaged areas. Application forms can be collected from the Australian High Commission in Mud Alley or by email may.samasoni@dfat.gov.au or kennedy.folasi@dfat.gov.au.