A plastic drink bottle may not seem very exciting to many people, but for the staff and students at Lenakel Presbyterian College on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, it means the world.
Barwon Water supplied a group of Year 10 students from The Geelong College with around 60 water bottles to give to staff and students at Lenakel Presbyterian College as part of the school's "Fulfilling Lives" program.
Upon arriving in Vanuatu, it didn't take the students long to realise how easily they take our water and waste systems in Australia for granted.
Lenakel is a small town with no reticulated water or sewage disposal system and residents rely on wells and tanks for their water and septic tanks for sewage. Unfortunately the septic tanks are often poorly maintained or working well beyond their capacity, and when combined with the rich but very porous island soil, often results in groundwater becoming contaminated.
Great care must be taken to get drinking water from a safe source, and it is necessary to carry drinking water when moving around the island. Access to supplies can be compounded by power failures and problems with pumps and piping, which can involve long waits for replacement fittings and parts. While drinking water can be bought, it is expensive and creates litter.
Barwon Water's gift of 60 water bottles was greatly appreciated by staff and students at Lenakel Presbyterian College.
Barwon Water provides plastic drink bottles to a number of sporting clubs, community events, schools, charities and not-for-profit organisations.