Water in Rural Vanuatu


When Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu in March 2015, it was one of the worst disasters this Pacific archipelago had ever seen. IsraAID arrived in Vanuatu not long after, and in recent years has focused on safe water access in rural communities there.

For nearly 40 years, the rural community of Latano on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, has been without fresh running water. Most would bathe in seawater and collect rainwater for drinking.

In 2019, IsraAID was tendered by the Vanuatu Department of Water to build a gravity-fed water system serving 900 people in Latano and eight neighboring villages, in a project funded by the Government of New Zealand. IsraAID partnered with community members to build 12 kilometers of pipeline from two water sources, with 55 tap stands spread across the area and 40,000 liters of storage. Using gravity to send water through the system cuts out the need for pumps or electricity, simplifying maintenance and ensuring sustainability.


“When the water finally reached this place, the children didn’t get sick anymore from diseases like diarrhea, scabies, and flu. Now, every day the children come to school, they drink clean water which we filter into clean buckets. The children have learned how to wash their hands which is why they are not getting sick anymore. They are no longer absent from school. Now, every day the children come to school.

Rachel Are

Teacher - Latano, Vanuatu

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