Week 3 - Peter's Story - Solomon Islands
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
St Teresa of Calcutta
Sixteen-year-old Peter goes to a boarding school in the Solomon Islands which has experienced water shortages for 60 years. Previously students would have to walk kilometres each day in search of clean water. This was particularly challenging for Peter who is living with a disability.
Peter’s mother left the family when he was little and has since passed away. His father decided to move from northern Malaita to Honiara, to better provide for his family. He arranged for Peter to stay with his aunt, then attend Aligegeo Secondary School.
Groundwater sources at the school have dried up and rainfall is unpredictable. Water in surrounding wells often made students sick or gave them rashes.
Caritas Australia, and partners Caritas Solomon Islands (CASI) and the Solomon Islands Government Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene division (RWASH), have teamed up with the school to tackle the problem.
CASI provided a 90 kilo-litre water tank, electric pump and technical advice, while the Malaita Provincial Government contributed labour. Staff and students took part in training, dug trenches and are helping with a water management plan.
The school now has a safe, reliable water system, servicing around 1,000 people.
“Now we can stay at school to wash and not interrupt our official class time,” Peter says.
Peter hopes to focus on his education and to help others in future by working for an aid and development agency himself.
However, much more needs to be done to improve access to reliable water and sanitation in the Solomon Islands.
Watch Peter's story HERE>