Two new composting toilets for the Sipaia community in Lae will contribute to improved sanitation and help tackle water-borne disease in the village.
The sanitation project funded through the Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program and developed by the University of Melbourne, Bower Studio, with support from the Papua New Guinea Australia Alumni Association Lae Chapter, Lae Rotary Club and the Sipaia community, has increased the number of composting toilets in Sipaia from three to five.
In recent years, Sipaia has experienced increasing storm surges and flooding, resulting in sand being washed away and coastal water moving closer to the village houses.
The flooding has contributed to disease outbreaks such as diarrhoea and dysentery throughout the Sipaia community.
The new composting toilets will enable waste to be processed above the water level, ensuring it remains separated from floodwaters. This will reduce water-borne disease and have a significant benefit on the health of community members.
Through the project, members of the community have also received valuable training in building techniques and how to use power tools, which will help them with future construction projects.
At the opening of the sanitation facilities, Australian High Commission First Secretary, Ms Emily Luck, acknowledged the joint efforts of the partners in supporting the project.
“It’s fantastic to see government, business and community working together to improve access to sanitation and reduce outbreaks of water-borne disease. This project will positively impact on the health of individuals and families in the community for years to come,” she said.
The Direct Aid Program is a small grants scheme providing funding to projects which seek to alleviate poverty and achieve sustainable development at the local community level in eligible countries.
Information on Australia’s Direct Aid Program can be found on the Australian High Commission Papua New Guinea website http://png.embassy.gov.au/pmsb/cooperation.html.