What’s covered in project cost
The total cost of providing water, sanitation and hygiene education to
one school in Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands Province is $28,325.
This includes installing 6 toilets, a tank-based water supply, and one
female shower; running educational workshops for students and teachers,
and monitoring and evaluation of the project.
Project objective, aims and outcomes
This WaterAid project aims to ensure that all children at this rural
school have adequate access to toilets, and clean water for hand-washing
and drinking. Currently, most schools in Papua New Guinea are built
without toilets. Without these facilities, students go to the toilet in
the bushes – without privacy, and without any way to wash their hands
afterwards. Hygiene promotion, including hand-washing with soap, has
been shown to be one of the most effective ways of reducing diarrhoea,
which is the second-largest cause of child deaths globally.
The current setup poses a particular problem for girls. Lack of adequate
privacy and sanitation means girls are less likely to attend school
while menstruating, and may drop out of school altogether due to the
stigma and humiliation.
Expected outcomes include:
- Completed facilities for the school
- Completed scheduled education sessions for students and teachers
Expected longer-term outcomes:
- improved health among students
- better overall attendance and retention rate (especially among female students)
Background on current situation
Papua New Guinea ranks among the bottom 10 nations worldwide for access
to clean, safe water and sanitation, and its health indicators have
decreased rather than improved in recent years. Defecation is normally
outdoors in wooded areas, or in very basic and unhygienic concrete slab
pit latrines. Discussion of defecation is sensitive and in some cases
taboo in PNG. Most schools have been constructed without appropriate
water and sanitation services. Many students cannot attend school due to
diarrhoea and students are sent home when the limited school water
supplies run out.
Project partners / community involvement
WaterAid will work with with a long-term local partner, ATprojects, on
this project. ATprojects aims to enable rural people to develop and use
skills and appropriate technologies that give them more control over
their lives and contribute to the sustainable development of their
communities. WaterAid supports ATprojects through funding, by providing
advice and sharing resources, and providing monitoring and evaluation
The schoolchildren will be involved in construction of the facilities in
appropriate ways (eg collecting plant-based materials for the walls and
roof, and undertaking light construction work), and their parents’
involvement is also encouraged. Local materials are used in the
construction of the facilities.
How this project fits into a larger strategy
WaterAid has been working in Papua New Guinea since 2005. PNG faces many
development challenges. The majority of PNG’s population of 6.8 million
people live in small remote communities with limited or no road access,
relying on subsistence farming for their livelihood. Education levels
are low, and access to clean drinking water is an issue for over half
the population – with rural communities much worse off than those in
urban areas. As a consequence, many people suffer preventable diseases
such as diarrhoea, which are linked with poor sanitary practices and
lack of clean water. For example, around 2100 children under 5 die each
year in PNG from diarrhoea.
This WaterAid project works with schools because children are not only
among the most vulnerable to diseases but are also are quick to take on
new ideas and take them home to their families.