Tuvalu News

Tuvalu launches its first national water awareness campaign for Earth Day 2006

April, 2006

While the Tuvaluan parliament discussed Alofa Tuvalu’s project on implementing renewable energies for the country, around Earth Day, Tuvalu International Waters Project launched a National Water Plan consultation, including a 2 month national campaign : "Think Compost Toilet"

Tuvalu is the earth's first sovereign nation threatened with becoming totally uninhabitable to due global-warming related flooding, within the next 50 years. Funafuti, its capital atoll, is a small community of only 4000 people and many people are living on daily incomes of less that $AUD4 per day. During high tides and heavy rains it is likely that contaminated effluent from soakage pits is overflowing into low-lying residential areas, putting people at risk from illnesses such as hepatitis, typhoid, gastroenteritis and diarrhea, that are a leading cause of death, in many Pacific Island communities, particularly in children under five years of age.

"We do posters, speeches, memory verse reading, song and drama
competitions," explains Kelesoma Saloa from the Tuvalu International Waters Project (IWP). "We also involve children in our program especially in a quiz based on radio program releases, talk shows etc."

The national campaign started late April 2006 will end on July 8th with the awarding of prizes for winners, certificate of volunteers, and a final quiz. Promoting good water uses as well as the adoption of the safest, most environmentally-friendly, cost-effective, and socially appropriate toilet systems, for Tuvalu, should lead to the completion of the International Waters Project in December 2006.

The objective of the Tuvalu IWP is to ensure that:


The Community:

  • is aware of the wastewater problem and the possible solutions
  • has a plan to implement the preferred solutions
  • can pilot some of these low-cost solutions as demonstration projects
The Government:
  • can use these lessons from the community to develop a clear plan to improve the management of wastewater at the national level
  • will develop and implement a National Water and Sanitation Plan
  • will introduce any appropriate legislation as required
  • will prepare a project proposal for donor agencies to assist in the sanitation battle.

Although (or perharps because) the clock is ticking for Tuvalu, the tiny nation is trying to become an example for the rest of the world.

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