Safe water for Bougainville

Water for Survival: bringing clean water, hygiene and sanitation to Bougainville.

Oxfam and its partners are expanding their water, sanitation and health work in central Bougainville.

Working with local partner organisations Tulele Peisa and the Bougainville Healthy Communities Programme, Oxfam is providing access to safe water and sanitation for communities in Bougainville by:

  • Supporting the development of water and sanitation infrastructure in rural communities.
  • Increasing the capacity of communities to own, operate and maintain their water and sanitation systems.
  • Improving health and hygiene awareness and practices through community education.

Our funding partners, the European Union Rural Water Supply and Supply and Sanitation Programme, recently reviewed our water and sanitation work in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville. They said: "This team possibly makes up the best partner within the rural water supply partners in PNG. The team leader, Pauline Komolong, is excellent and easily the most proficient within the entire water sector here in PNG."

Pauline Komolong, our water expert in PNG and Bougainville
Pauline Komolong, our water expert in PNG.

Meet Pauline Komolong, our water expert

Pauline left behind her office-based job working on big civil engineering projects to focus on small-scale engineering that makes a huge difference – designing and implementing water and sanitation systems for rural communities in PNG and Bougainville.

"When you design a gravity-fed system and you turn on the first tap, you see women crying, like tears of joy. Now they don’t have to carry buckets of water for hours each day. For me it feels like real satisfaction when people appreciate what you’re doing and it actually changes lives," says Pauline.

Building latrines in Bougainville

Oxfam is working with local partners to improve health and hygiene for the communities of Bougainville.

In the sandy soil of coastal villages in Bougainville, standard pit latrines proved to be unworkable – the sides of the pit would just cave in. With Oxfam’s support, local water technician John Narivau and the residents of Sirovai village perfected an ingenious solution. As a result, they are in the process of building a toilet for each family and significantly reducing the risk of waterborne diseases, such as diarrhoea.

Blog from Bougainville

Water Engineer Charles Bennett worked in Bougainville as part of Oxfam's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene team. He shared his experiences and insight into our vital work in Bougainville in his blog on the TV3 News website.

The water, sanitation and health programme in Bougainville is supported by funds from the European Union Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme.