Water Tanks for remote Barai villages in PNG

Report by Sue Huntley, Director of Hepatitis B Free

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In 2015, during our last trip to the remote community of the Barai tribe, we noted that very few of the small villages had water tanks for water source within a short distance of the majority of the dwellings. The Hepatitis B Free Committee made a decision to assist the community by supplying four water tanks and necessary apparatus. We approached Rotary International for assistance with fundraising for the costs of purchasing and transport to the remote community.

The water tanks are made by GreenCo Water, whose mission is “to be a socially responsible organisation and be innovative for the development of smart storage solutions that have global impact”. The tanks have a 1000 litre capacity and are packed flat, facilitating easier transport. The tanks were purchased from Bunnings in Brisbane and transported to Popondetta. The guttering, down pipes and tools to construct the water tanks were purchased locally in PNG through an agent in Port Moresby, Sogeri Enterprises Ltd.

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In July 2016, a medical team from Hepatitis B Free returned to the Oro Province. Arrangements were made with a builder who was visiting the area to show the locals how to construct the tanks.

The water tanks are located in the villages of Itokama, Tahama and Naokanane Elementary School. Each tank sits beside a local community building. These villages were nominated by the leaders and elders of the Barai tribe. Through consultation, they decided that this was the best way for the entire village to gain access to the water that was collected from the rainfall.

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The local men who volunteered to be part of the construction/assembly teams were shown how to assemble and construct the tanks and associated materials, and guided through the process. This was to ensure that the village will be able to assemble and construct new water tanks in the future, when further materials can be sourced.

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Photo credit: the Redeemer Baptist Church team

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