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Safe Water for Remote Communities (PNG)

COVID-19 Pandemic response

Papua New Guinea has one known case of COVID-19, which sent the country into a two-week lockdown. This has significantly curtailed usual activities, with staff working from home on unreliable WiFi connections.

The project team has a strong partnership with the Milne Bay Provincial Government, and intends to refocus the existing hygiene behaviour change activities towards handwashing and hygiene messages that are specific to COVID-19.

Because Papua New Guinea will be in lockdown for another two months, the team will need to seek special permission to provide support Government-led educational messages to communities.

Lack of clean water supplies in isolated rural communities in Papua New Guinea affects women and children the most, with both the burden of carrying water and the incidence of water-borne diseases.

For almost 20 years the United Church in PNG has been providing water tanks, gravity fed systems, and taps close to home.

But hardware wasn’t enough, people’s behaviour needs to change. The “Rait Mama” campaign in Milne Bay targets women as change agents who encourage their family and community members to wash their hands with soap, taking care with food preparation and toilet use. Finally, we are seeing decreases in waterborne disease as a result of the campaign.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, we’re making a huge difference together; lifting families out of poverty and helping people improve their lives.

Check out the impact we’re making!

Our Impact

Since 2015 our partners have worked with 5,822 people in 3 Milne Bay communities to improve water supply and hygiene behaviour.

2,511 people received education and access to safe water and sanitation



Papua New Guinea


United Church in PNG

Program Unit

Relief & Development (tax-deductible)


Poverty Alleviation