At least 1,499 people access safe water and sanitation

Port Vila, 2 August 2017: The Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources and its partners, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF) together with ADRA Vanuatu, today handed over the completed water supply system to the community of Lamap on the south eastern tip of Malekula Island, Vanuatu.

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Ralph Regenvanu stated, “This project has pulled together some key partners of the government to address the crucial need for safe water, sanitation and hygiene in the community of Lamap in line with the National Water Strategy’s vision of sustainable and equitable access to safe water and sanitation for the people of Vanuatu.”

With the goal of providing safe water and sanitation in Vanuatu and promoting good hygiene and sanitation, the Lamap WASH Infrastructure Project is part of the Water and Sanitation Sector Strengthening Project, a collaboration between Vanuatu Government and partners. 

“It is critical for us to be able to deliver safe drinking water to vulnerable children and their families. Water acts as a lifeline for children and we continue to work with Government and partners to respond to this urgent need,” stated UNICEF Chief of Vanuatu Field Office, Andrew Parker.

The construction of four large water supply projects, including that of Lamap, started in June 2014 and runs until December this year. Trainings were provided to support community engagement and management of the new water system. 

“Improving access to safe water and sanitation for people and communities is part of New Zealand’s commitment to improving health outcomes in Vanuatu,” said New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Georgina Roberts. “New Zealand is pleased to have supported the Government of Vanuatu and partners to deliver reliable safe water and sanitation to the people of Lamap, contributing to improved health and wellbeing, which underpins Vanuatu’s social and economic development.” 

Lamap is one of the biggest communities on the island of Malekula with a population of about 1,499. In the past the community was served by an Indirect Gravity Flow system that ceased functioning in the late 1980s. The community’s main water source had since been rainwater harvesting. 

ADRA Vanuatu Acting Country Director, Anna Downing, said, “Strong community involvement, management and ownership is vital to sustaining any successful initiative. We acknowledge the strong support of the leaders and members of the community in Lamap to ensure the project is completed but is also sustained”.

The 2.5 million NZ dollars Water and Sanitation Sector Strengthening Project is a collaboration between the Department of Water Resources – Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and UNICEF covering four sites including: East Malo, West Ambae, Walarano and Lamap.

For more information, please contact:
Annie Samuels, Department of Water, 5333820,
Anna Downing, ADRA Vanuatu Acting Country Director, +25 500,
Rebecca Olul, UNICEF Vanuatu Field Office, +678 24655, +678 77 666 04,