Water problems in Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands is one of only 10 countries in the world where water access has been deteriorating over the last 15 years.

Access to water in rural communities has dropped from 64% to 54% between 2015 and 2009.

Water problems in Torah Community

This community has a gravity-fed water system that was installed 40 years ago by New Zealand.  The system is expected to completely fail in the next 1-3 years.  

Lack of access to water

Access to water is difficult; there are 7 water points, with an average of 50 people using each water point.

Inadequate Drainage

None of water points have taps and run continuously, causing pooling of stagnant water in low-lying areas.  This becomes a mosquito-breeding haven and contributes to the spread of malaria and dengue fever.

Water points are too far away

To minimise the need to carry large quantities of water, the women carry their clothes and pots to the water points and wash them on the ground. This causes  back problems and also increases the risk of spreading diseases. 

Water not reliable

In January and February, there is frequently no water for weeks on end.  Women have to walk to neighbouring communities or use river water, which can be contaminated with human and animal faecal matter.

Inability to perform repairs

With no plumber and no access to tools, it is difficult for the community to perform even minor repairs. They make do with pieces of plastic and bicycle tyres, but these are short-term ‘solutions’.