Munda’s Helena Goldie Hospital and numerous schools in the Vona Vona and Roviana regions recently received an impressive facelift courtesy of a 26-person team of skilled Australian workers and donors.
Early in July, members of Mackay and Rockhampton Rotary Clubs, in Queensland, Australia, arrived in Munda accompanied by two 20-fot shipping containers packed full of equipment such as roofing iron, guttering, plumbing pipe and fittings, diesel generator sets, desks, chairs, books, computers and much more.
For two weeks the team worked with local labourers and tradesmen to perform a variety of projects, the main project being the upgrade of the water supply system at Helena Goldie Hospital.
This included installing new pumps at the Hospital well, re-roofing the Outpatients’ building, installing new guttering and downpipes to relocated rainwater tanks, and much more. Improving both the Hospital’s rainwater harvesting system and efficiency of the water pumps will decrease their reliance on pumped well water whilst significantly reducing the previously high cost of pumping well water to the Hospital.
This means that the Hospital will be able to allocate funds otherwise spent on pumping water, to other necessary service delivery infrastructure and operations.
Each Rotary Team member’s flights, accommodation and time was self-financed, as with much of the equipment and tools distributed among their projects. Much of the equipment and auxiliary financial support was also donated by Australian companies Dowdens and CGI Consulting.
To assist with the project Helena Goldie Hospital also received donated equipment and support services from Bowmans, National Fisheries Developments (NFD), Soltuna and Honiara’s International Tea Group.
Every contribution has assisted the Hospital in improving their health service delivery capacity for the people of Munda and the surrounding region.
Whilst also bringing equipment, the Rotary Team focused on sustainable development in each of their projects by sharing skills, knowledge and stories with the many local workers, including 7 apprentices from Tabaka Rural Training Centre, who also took part in the project.
Many donor groups in the past have failed to integrate with the local communities, resulting in a flawed project by not instilling a sense of ownership in the people benefitting from the help.
Rotary took this into account and ensured all projects involved close consultation, commitment and involvement from the Hospital, school or community where they took place.