of people in the Solomon Islands don’t have access to safe water.

of people don’t have access to adequate sanitation.

children under five die a year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation.

The Solomon Islands is ranked ‘low’ in the human development index and below the East Asia, the Pacific and World rank averages. The Solomon Islands is one of the most aid dependent countries in the world with widespread poverty and serious economic challenges.

The crisis

Over 480,000 people in the Solomon Islands – 80% of the population – live in rural areas. Most people living in rural communities lack access to clean water and proper sanitation and do not practise proper hygiene behaviour.

Open defecation is common and handwashing with soap, after defecation or before eating or handling food, is not widely practised. Inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene contributes to the prevalence of diarrhoeal and other diseases and to high levels of malnutrition in the country.

Our approach

In the Solomon Islands, WaterAid’s initial focus is on establishing and maintaining relationships as a key foundation to strengthening the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Over the next 12 months WaterAid will establish its presence and work in close collaboration with the Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (RWASH) Unit within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in supporting longer term water, sanitation and hygiene sector performance.

We will explore opportunities with grassroot NGOs to ensure WaterAid’s core principles and strategies align with these organisations and meet the Solomon Islands government vision. The vision is that “all Solomon Islanders will have easy access to sufficient quantity and quality of water, appropriate sanitation and will be living in a safe and hygienic environment".

Our impact

WaterAid is working collaboratively with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services of the Solomon Islands Government to implement their plans to improve water, sanitation and hygiene services across rural Solomon Islands.

A major activity through this collaboration was to complete a government led statistically representative assessment of the rural water, sanitation and hygiene coverage across all nine provinces to provide a baseline for plans to improve coverage rates.