“Papua New Guinea is an expensive place to do development because of the logistics of getting around the small remote communities throughout the islands.
By working with a partner like Oxfam, we saved money and were more efficient because we really capitalised on our organisational strengths. Oxfam would send in the initial equipment like water tanks and taps, and we followed up by providing nutritional supplements, hygiene education and training the communities in managing the project and resources themselves.
It takes a village committee
To do this we chose a group of eight men and women in each village to form a Water Management Committee to help manage the new water resources. Each member had a specific role to fulfil such as the technical officer (builder), a security manager, and a child protection officer.
Not only was each committee trained in how to maintain the new taps and tanks, but also in general project management. This was important to the sustainability of the project, as each committee will need to work together to ensure the tanks and taps are kept in good working order, and decide how to find the money to pay for repairs in the future.