Dirty Water A Killer In The Pacific

Published: Thu 11 Jul 2024 09:52 AM
"It is unacceptable in 2024 that 1 in 10 deaths for children under 5 years in parts of the Pacific is linked to diarrhoea, vomiting and dirty water. This is a problem that is fixable. So, let’s fix it," says CEO of ChildFund Josie Pagani.
The Pacific has some of the highest rates of preventable deaths for children in the world, due largely to dirty water.
Child Fund has launched a campaign to bring clean water to children in Kiribati and Solomon Islands, and will expand its programmes across the region over the next year.
"The Pacific is our home and for many New Zealanders, these children are our extended family. We can’t fix all the problems in the world, but we can make a difference in the place we call home too."
Dirty water is linked to diarrhoea and vomiting, and causes some of the highest numbers of preventable child deaths in the Pacific:1 in 10 deaths for children under 5 years in Kiribati1 in 14 deaths for children under 5 years in Solomon IslandsOnly 16% of school children In Solomon Islands, have clean, safe waterOnly 27% of households in Kiribati have access to clean, safe water
Giving children better access to clean water not only prevents illness and worst-case scenario, death. It also removes one of the biggest barriers to getting an education. Children often miss school because they need to walk hours to collect clean water, or driftwood for fires to boil dirty water.
"We can do something about these statistics. The solutions are often simple. Communities know what they need; fixed pipes, water tanks, simple ways to make the water safe to drink. All we need to do is listen and get the right support to fix the problem," says Josie Pagani
In Napir Village in Temotu Province in the far east of the Solomon Islands, children walk for almost two hours a day to find clean, safe drinking water, which means they are missing out on an education and a chance to play and learn and be a child.
There is no shortage of water from natural springs on the island. ChildFund is raising funds to:Rebuild a water pipe and pump system that will provide water to 3,000 people in 18 communities as well as the local school.Complete the build of a toilet block at the local school in Napir Village to improve sanitation.
Kiribati, with its 33 islands and atolls, scattered over a vast ocean area in the heart of the Pacific has the highest child mortality rate in the Pacific. ChildFund is raising funds to:Provide families with 10 litre Solvatten units that use solar energy to purify water in just a few hours. Each unit can provide 6,000 litres of safe drinking water every year.Install 75 litre solar powered distillation tanks at pre-schools, schools and community centres - giving children access to clean safe drinking water every day.Build rainwater harvesting infrastructure (roofs and gutters) to capture precious, albeit infrequent rain.
"We hope to expand these initiatives across more countries in the Pacific. This is our shared home. We cannot stand by and let these children suffer from a problem that is often simple and cheap to fix."
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For every dollar donated, the New Zealand government provides an additional $4.

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