By EDDIE OSIFELO
ABOUT seven communities in Guadalcanal and 11 communities in Kiribati will benefit from the Pacific Health and Sanitation grant of $7 million (US$850,000).
The grant is part of the USAID’s Pacific American Fund US$35 million five-year grant facility, that addresses critical development challenges across 12 Pacific Island Countries, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The project aims to reinforce Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the 18 communities in Solomon Islands and Kiribati from September 1, 2022 to February 2025.
Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), that set up in 1988 with a concept by late John Roughan to ‘Improving the Quality of Village Living’, will implement the project here.
Speaking at the launching of the project at Honiara Hotel yesterday, SIDT Executive Director Longden Manedika said as a means to advance the objectives of the project towards issues of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, this project involves a community of interest that includes Action on Poverty (AOP), Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific Kiribati (FSPK), Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), and Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney (ISF-UTS) .
Manedika said in the Solomons, they will be working with Seven Communities in Guadalcanal Province.
He said an estimated 420 direct project participants will be empowered to advance positive and acceptable behavior towards improved health practices in terms WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) at the village setting.
Further to that, Manedika said gender dimensions and social inclusion were crosscutting elements in the design of the outreach activities.
He said project will use evidence-based, field-tested approaches such as Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Dynamic Adaptive Management Process tool (DAMP) – (a tool developed by ISF-UTS and relevant locally designed open learning tools relevant in both Solomon Islands and Kiribati.
“Tools that stir participatory decision-making processes to plan for the delivery of basic services under a changing climate, and help to build skills and knowledge which will enable the community to participate in identifying solutions relevant for their context,” he said.
Manedika said AOP, ISF-UTS and SIDT were involved in a previous PACAM project funded by USAID.
“Coupled with SIDT’s previous community governance work (Bridging the Gap project), this initiative will enable us to continue to build on the previous investments made by US Government and the community-based work undertaken through that program, given it was focused on both WASH and local knowledge on climate change, both relevant to the current initiative,” he said.
Details of how much Solomon Islands will benefit from the $7 million is still sketchy.