CHICHINGE community in Malango ward, Central Guadalcanal was alive on Friday to celebrate the completion of a water supply project funded under the Rural Development project (RDP).
The unveiling of the project was held at the community much to excitement of the community because for the first time water is now at their door step.
Speaking at the historic occasion representatives from women, men, youths and Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) for Malango ward have uttered their appreciation to the RDP office for what they described as the greatest gift they have ever received.
The completion of the project means water is now available at their door steps.
MPA Amaziah Keith Rubo in speech said the approval of Chichinge community by RDP in its final selection process from all applications is a blessing to them.
“Because its one of our cries since the community established many years ago.
“It’s an awesome privilege to note that our community priority is endorsed and that the project has eventuated till its completion as we witness today,” he said last week.
Mr. Rubo also acknowledged the whole process that led to the completion of the project.
He said RDP has really touched the hearts of the community within a period of time unlike the commonly known Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF).
“Because for the last three decades, there’s no true rural development from RDCF that touches the lives of the community,” he said.
He added Chichinge community will never forgot what RDP has done to their lives.
Speaking on behalf of the women especially in terms of their hardships, Ivory Ezra said the completion of the water supply is a historic moment for all the women of Chichinge.
“It’s a historic moment for us as we are standing high and tall because we have never had in our life water being available to us on our door steps.
“This a joyous morning or a morning of overwhelming joy for us women confine with tears because we are so happy.
“Not only that, this morning also marks the end of the tiring years that women of this community continue to their struggle, pain and suffering of walking and searching for clean drinking water,” she added.
Mrs. Ezra said the Chichinge community was established for almost fifty years ago and those are the years of their struggle to get clean water.
“All we have to do in those fifty years is to dig bore holes along the river banks and we collect water from them,” she said.
She said but boreholes is just an open dug pit not as deep and even animals or insects easily jumps in, some died and get rot and that’s where we got our drinking water from.
“Add on to that, we are just downstream residence and so when we use the river for swim and washing, we are just using unclean water caused by people up streams.
“Also when it rains and got flooded, the bore holes would be covered with sands and we as women will have to dig using spades to remove those sands searching for those boreholes so we can get our drinking water,” she recalled.
Mrs. Ezra said women are the most affecting group in their community during those fifty years.
“We walk miles to get food in the garden, we tried our best with our markets and we tried our best to search for health centres with our kids,” she said.
During regular church programs they also walked to the church and when returned, there were no drinking water and a lot of dirty dishes lying waiting for the,
“So we have to search again for water,” she added.
Mrs. Ezra said one of the sources to get water is where a red muddy creek is but its also not safe for them.
She said there are several attempts to get assistance from the government, non-government organisations and donor partners which all failed.
“We have tried our best to get assistance from the Aus-Aid but we did not meet their requirement standards, we also seek assistance from Japan Embassy but also fail,” she said.
She said in the 1980, they managed to make connections to those living up streams by supplying their water source but that does not last long as the source what cut off and they went back to their normal lifestyles.
“In 2009, our MPA brought in water tanks but that’s also not good enough because that will only serve us during rainy seasons.
“But we are so thankful for the inclusion of RDP in 2019, where to us, you are not only our true friend but a savour to us because you have earned our struggle for our basic need and that is water,” she added.
“RDP you are a true rural developers as we have witnessed what you have done to us.
“We have heard many millions of dollars flooding into our country from donors and supporters but we never felt and it never reaching us rural communities but RDP you have made your way into our community and we are so proud of you,” she added.
Meanwhile, RDP Team Leader Solomon Seimoana said the achievement of the water supply is a result of working together from the community and their leaders.
Mr Seimoana said the funding for the water supply coming from the national government together with the donor partners mainly to help improve lives of people in the rural areas.
He added with the training provided by the RDP, it has helped the Chichinge community to carry out the project successfully to the end.
“RDP is a program that empowers people to look and learn how to do things by their own and through those training it offers to the communities, it really helps to accomplish the water supply project,” the team leader added.
By IAN M.KAUKUI