February 1, 2023: Health clinics providing critical services to surrounding communities in Wewak District, East Sepik Province, will have improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene services (WaSH) as a result of a K640,000 (USD182,000) grant from The Coca‑Cola Foundation to WaterAid PNG.

This is the second year The Coca‑Cola Foundation, the international philanthropic arm of The Coca‑Cola Company, has supported WaterAid PNG on WaSH projects in Wewak District.

Director of Programs for WaterAid PNG, Ms Navara Kiene, says this year’s grant will enable the implementation of improved, as well as more climate resilient, WaSH facilities in Tamarau Sub Health Clinic in the Turubu Local Level Government (LLG) and Passam Major Aid Post in Wewak Rural LLG in Wewak District.

“Tamarau Sub Health Clinic is the only health clinic in this area, servicing over 6285 people in 32 nearby villages. The clinic delivers over 20 babies and sees over 400 outpatients every month. Currently the clinic relies on two rainwater tanks to provide for all the facility’s needs. It often runs out of water during the dry season and needs to reduce critical activities such as cleaning to conserve water, which increases the risk of infections. In addition, patients are asked to provide their own water.

“To ensure the clinic has a permanent, year-round, reliable and climate resilient water supply, WaterAid will work with the East Sepik Provincial Health Authority to install a deep borehole with a solar motorised pump. The borehole will pump water into a large storage tank and then into the healthcare facility,” says Ms Kiene. 

In addition, the grant will allow WaterAid to build new accessible toilets at the clinic, improve hand hygiene, infection prevention and control through installing handwashing stations within the delivery room, inpatient and outpatient areas, install a new incinerator and a protected waste pit for disposal of placenta waste and help guide management to operate and maintain the infrastructure.

A similar project will also be undertaken for the Passam Major Aid Post to ensure a year-round supply of water, says Ms Kiene.

Both projects were identified for funding from the 5-year Wewak District WaSH Plan (2018 – 2023) which outlines identified WaSH priorities in the district, based on a district-wide baseline conducted by government officers in 2019.

Saadia Madsbjerg, The Coca‑Cola Foundation President says: “Insufficient access to water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure are key challenges in Papua New Guinea. We are delighted to be able to continue our support of WaterAid PNG’s work providing WaSH services to health clinics, to ensure the health and wellbeing of the local communities they service.”