National WASH Coalition
The Pacific WASH Coalition, established in 2007, is the only regional coalition of WSSCC and actively collaborating with National WASH Coalitions in the Pacific countries of Fiji, Tonga and Tuvalu. The Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) supports and coordinates activities by several partners, such as the national ministries, WHO, UNICEF, ICRC, Live and Learn Environmental Education, the Fiji School of Medicine and the Foundation of People of the South Pacific. New partners are Habitat for Humanity-Fiji, Wetlands International, Pacific Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development (USP), Asia Development Bank (ADB- climate change specialist), Water Authority Fiji, Colgate Palmolive Fiji/Pacific office.
The aim is to improve the lives of Pacific Island people through improved management of water resources and the development of adequate and sustainable water supply, improved sanitation facilities and hygienic practices for all.The Coalition utilises existing frameworks such as the Pacific Partnership Initiative on Sustainable Water Management, the Pacific Wastewater Framework for Action and the Pacific Framework for Action on Drinking Water Quality and Health to support countries achieving the MDG targets on water and sanitation.
Activities and achievements
The Pacific WASH coalition has a dedicated website.
For 2010 and 2011, the collaborative activities focused on effective hand washing promotion in schools for Pacific Island countries. The project included an assessment of the motivational factors behind behaviour change (FOAM approach) and the WASH situation in school, followed by participatory development and testing of IEC materials, including the use of video and the Glo-Germ toolkit. Global Handwashing Day was celebrated and with financial support by UNICEF school WASH facilities were also refurbished.
In 2009, the WASH Coalition Framework was developed. The framework outlines the vision, and the three major components of WASH in identified cross cutting issues like mainstreaming gender and climate change. Each agency was able to identify their area of expertise and beneficiaries to see how each can work in collaboration with each other without any duplication of activities in the Pacific.
Activities in 2009, implemented by Fiji Red Cross Society (FRC), focused mainly on schools, and included the following activities:
- Hygiene Kits and T-shirts produced and distributed in targeted schools;
- Workshop and training in schools;
- Schools visits to monitor the progress of activities in school.
Improved hygiene practices in schools have been observed. It is planned to establish a sustainable and continuous hygiene programme in these schools.
The International Year of Sanitation in 2008 has seen an increased engagement of key stakeholders in the WASH campaign. TV and radio spots on WASH were widely broadcasted.
The activities in 2009, supported by Tonga Community Development Trust (TCDT), focussed on WASH in schools by conducting a baseline survey, setting up of a project implementation team.
Key stakeholders of the national WASH Coalition meet regularly, and are working together on the following activities:
- in 2008, the rainwater harvesting manual has been translated into Tuvaluan and used for workshops with women's community of Funafuti;
- school workshops with teachers, poster competition for primary and secondary schools and training on hand washing have improved the school health environment;
- awareness raisings through radio for all eight islands of Funafuti;
- organization of national WASH workshops.