Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion – Working together for healthy communities

Mirriam’s village of Marumbo sits in a cove on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal. Surrounded by steep volcanic mountains to the rear, and rough, often impassable seas to the front, the small village is similar to many other remote communities throughout the Solomon Islands.
Diarrhoea, malaria, chest infections and skin diseases are rife in many of these villages. These high levels of illnesses predominantly result from the communities’ use of open water sources, often contaminated by animals or by the villagers themselves, and a lack of understanding around basic hygiene practices and health.

To help tackle these ongoing health problems, Solomon Islands Red Cross developed a community-based health program, with support from Australian Red Cross and funding from the Australian Government’s overseas aid program, AusAID. Known as Tugeda Iumi Waka fo Helti Komuniti (Together You and Me Work for Healthy Communities), the program aims to provide communities with the knowledge, skills and long-term support to improve their health and hygiene practices.