Warrnambool Rotary Club help Papua New Guinea villagers access water

Drink up: Warrnambool Rotary Club member Tony Austin with the water they accessed in Papua New Guinea as part of humanitarian efforts.

Drink up: Warrnambool Rotary Club member Tony Austin with the water they accessed in Papua New Guinea as part of humanitarian efforts.

A VILLAGE in Papua New Guinea has clean drinking water for the first time, thanks to the Warrmambool Rotary Club.

Members Tony Austin, Malcolm Price and Richard Wilton travelled to a remote PNG village in July to distribute 10 tonnes of aid materials as part of a 16-day humanitarian mission.

The men travelled by dinghy for six hours in crocodile-infested waters to accomplish the mission.

International services director Tony Austin said they repaired a damaged water bore and set a solar pump on it at Kongoho.

They also sunk three water bores at Embessa, providing the first clean water supply to a total of 1400 villagers across the two locations.

They also provided a commercial rotary hoe to help the Embessa community grow crops. The Australian’s also visited potential future project sites.

Mr Austin said the need was chronic.

“It’s hard to imagine how poor and disadvantaged PNG remote communities are unless you see it first hand,” he said. “They have no access to clean water, electricity, telephone, and in most cases no medical support. Roads, where they exist, are unbelievably bad.”

It took the group five hours to travel to a remote village 70 kilometres away in a four-wheel-drive.

Mr Austin's highlights included accessing clean water and being met by hundreds of residents along the river bank when they arrived at Embessa.

He said the manpower they had from people of all ages helping them with the water projects was unbelievable.

Their skill level, considering the primitive conditions and lack of equipment and resources was also impressive.

Mr Austin said the club would continue to provide access to clean water, improved health and education opportunities in PNG, and is calling for corporate or individual partners. 

Schools need encyclopedias, reference and poetry books, dictionaries and stationery. To support the program contact the club.

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