The International Organization of Migration (IOM) has supported the rehabilitation of a safe and clean drinking water supply system at St. Gabriel Technical Secondary School in Kiunga town in Western Province.
The rehabilitated drinking water supply system, which includes setting up of additional three handwashing stations by IOM is important for promoting personal health and hygiene including protecting staff, students and visitors from the spread of COVID-19, as well as other viruses and bacteria.
The rehabilitated water supply system is benefiting 636 students and 31 staff at St. Gabriel Technical Secondary School giving students and staff consistent access to safe and clean drinking water.
Recently, IOM installed handwashing stations at Kiunga Airport as an additional preventative measure against the spread of COVID and other diseases for travellers and airport staff. IOM also supported selected vulnerable communities in Western Provinces through constructing and rehabilitating safe and clean drinking water sources and sanitation facilities.
Western Province was amongst the first in Papua New Guinea to report a COVID-19 case and now has the third highest number of cases in the country. IOM, UNFPA and UNICEF have been aiding North Fly District in Western Province with support from the UN Secretary General’s Multi-Partner Trust Fund to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I initially took COVID-19 as normal disease but working with you [IOM] in response to this pandemic has made me understand that this disease is real, and this prompts me to take the necessary precautions to protect myself and my family,” noted Disaster Officer for North Fly District.
IOM’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) interventions complements Western Province’s efforts to manage COVID-19.
The interventions will also benefit the target communities, health facilities and schools to build back better especially to hazards induced by extreme dry conditions regularly experienced in the Province.