29 Jul 2013

Kiwi engineer helping residents get clean water in Vanuatu

8:10 am on 29 July 2013

A New Zealand engineer is helping villagers on Tanna Island in Vanuatu get better access to clean water.

Adam Pearse, working with UNICEF New Zealand, has developed a reliable system using traditional hydraulic Ram Pump technology.

He says he got involved after making friends with ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers in Hawkes Bay who wanted to improve the water supply in their home villages.

Mr Pearse says many of the villages in Tanna are sited on high ground, often some distance from the water source, typically creeks in ravines.

"So to get drinking water and cooking water they have to go down into these valleys, which on average is about half a kilometre walk, down slippery banks and areas, well I find very difficult to access, and it is normally the women and children of course who get allocated the task of doing that, and that's about two or three times a day they would have to collect water."

Adam Pearse.

UNICEF New Zealand's Dennis McKinlay says it is fantastic that the agency could call on a little Kiwi ingenuity to make life safer and easier for communities in Vanuatu.