Fresh Water Project in Papua New Guinea
Sister Mariska Kua RSM writes, “Today many rivers, creeks and streams are polluted by the people living along the banks. Waste from the mining areas have damaged the surrounding environment along the rivers… the water is not clean, it is undrinkable for humans”.
In the near-by villages or the remotest village of Papua New Guinea there are many big rivers, creeks, lakes and small streams providing clean drinking water and fresh fish for consumption.
Though we have many rivers and creeks where people have free access to the water, there are growing problems due to population growth in the country. The majority of the growing population live in the rural areas and their day to day livelihood depends on rivers and creeks.
Today many rivers, creeks and streams are polluted by the people living along the banks. Waste from the mining areas have damaged the surrounding environment along the rivers and have caused worse disasters. Many people are not careful, they use the clean rivers and creeks to wash their clothes, dirty dishes, and even using it for sanitation and many other reasons. Therefore the water is not clean, it is undrinkable for humans.
Many people have to walk long distances to fetch drinking and cooking water. Often women and small children suffer from walking the long distance or even going down or up the hill to collect water to cook for the family.
Mercy Works in partnership with the Rotary Club Mt Hagen have worked together to indentify a certain village community with three to four thousand people who faced with no proper drinking water.
The community acknowledge the importance of the need to have clean water in their village which will improve their health and living standards, now and in the future for the new generation.
The community will take some responsibility by contributing some money to buy the water pipes and to provide free labour to install the pipes to run through the ten different villages.
The main aims for starting the water project is to provide healthy drinking water, prevent the people from getting sick, and to help the mothers and children from walking the long distance to fetch the drinking water. There is an education program for the people about water and caring for the environment.
Carmel Heagerty, Institute Justice Co-ordinator: Institute.Justice@mercy.org.au