Topic: Water

Project hopes to provide clean water access for Pacific neighbours

updated By Leah Te Whata

New Zealanders are being challenged to go a whole day without turning on their taps at home and at work, in a new project hoping to provide easy access to clean water for Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

Students of Albany Jr High School have traded in taps for buckets in support of the first annual Taps Off Day

Albany Junior High School student, Emily Calderi-Hume says, "I feel my biggest challenge is probably not being able to touch the tap because when I go to do all the stuff, I go to turn the tap on and I can't."

"Mine would be just cleaning my teeth because I have to have my bottle and toothbrush at the same time," says Albany Junior High School student, Ben Bonne.

Around 3000 New Zealanders are taking part in a 24-hour challenge to conserve water and raise funds to provide water access to the Pacific.

Business Relationships Coordinator - Oxfam New Zealand, Charlene Fitisemanu says, "For our friends in the Pacific and Vanuatu rural villages and also in Papua New Guinea every day it's a reality for women to walk for hours and hours to collect water and then have to carry it back and it's contaminated, but it's the only option they have."

There are 200 litres of water beside me. This is the amount of water used by each New Zealander every day. Here in this bucket is the amount of water used by someone in the developing world.

Oxfam are leading this project in an effort to provide those in need with tap stands, water tanks, wells and rainwater harvesting systems

Fitisemanu says, "The biggest challenge is the access and also safety and quality of water, so here in Aotearoa its normal for us to go to the kitchen turn on the tap and clean drinking water comes out."

Oxfam is hoping to raise $45,000. The money will go towards Oxfam's water and sanitation projects in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.