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The effects of a lack of clean water and decent toilets are felt most by women and girls. They experience this in a number of ways, whether that be walking long distances to collect water, facing the danger and indignity of finding a place to defecate when they don’t have a private toilet, or being excluded from decisions about services. Meaningful participation from women and girls is key to delivering water and sanitation services that meet their needs, as well as changing harmful norms that see them marginalised.

Running until the end of 2022, Water for Women is a five-year Australian Government program that aims to improve health, gender equality and well-being in the Asia-Pacific through inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene projects. WaterAid is being funded to deliver projects in Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste.

Bunderra Foundation believes this is a very worthwhile cause and strongly supports ongoing education for girls and young women. It is for this reason Bunderra therefore made a significant contribution in support of Water Aid's project “Keeping Girls in School” in Papua New Guinea.

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Keeping Girls in School

We are working with WaterAid on their project Keeping Girls in School in Papua New Guinea. 


When facilities such as toilets and water are lacking at school, it is adolescent girls who lose out the most.  With nowhere to go to manage their periods, girls prefer to stay home. Some stay absent for a few days only to return with reduced self-esteem and dignity and the ability to catch up to others in class.  In Papua New Guinea only 62% of girls can read or write.


Facilities at Tubusurea

July 2020

Wateraid has now completed the hygiene facilities at Tubeserea and the works at Gabagaba are continuing.

The facilities at Tubusurea include:

7 Ventilated improved Pit (VIP) latrine toilets, four of them for girls and include ‘girl friendly’ stalls to enable them to manage their menstruation.  The remaining 3 are for the boys usage.

An adjacent 9,000 litre hand washing station which is filled by a roof catchment from a nearby classroom


The innovative design of the dual sliding “VIP” will increase the life span of the toilet significantly.  Previously, a “VIP”    latrine pit would fill up within 2 to 3 years and would either have to be renewed at another location or desludged, which is       a very expensive in rural communities and rarely available.  The design allows for the toilet to be moved across two adjacent pits.  The second pit is blocked off until the first pit is full.  Once full, the latrine is moved across to the second pit and the first pit is blocked off, allowing the contents to decompose, which can then be safely removed.  Once the second pit is full, the cycle repeats.  Additionally, pits that lined with concrete can have a life span of 25 to 30 years.


By providing these facilities for the girls, they can now enjoy safe, clean sanitation facilities.  This in turn leads to higher attendance levels at school, breaking the cycle and gender inequality and better educational outcomes.

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Global Impact 2019

December 2019

Bunderra Foundation continues to support the work of Water Aid.  Due to their programs and operations, their global impact last year resulted in:


Household Members

385,000 household members have access to clean water

433,000 household members have decent toilets

1,503,000 household members with good hygiene



206,000 students having access to clean water in schools

182,000 students have access to decent toilets in schools

695,000 students with good hygiene.


Through Healthcare Centers

1,238,000 people through healthcare centers have access to clean water

1,080,000 people through healthcare centers have access to decent toilets

991,000 people through healthcare centers with good hygiene.


Keeping Girls in School (Papua New Guinea)

November 2018

The initial project is implemented from July 2017 to June 2020 through a consortium of international and local civil society organisations. The focus in Papua New Guinea is in Kairuku-Hiri, Goilala, Gabagaba and Kwikila locations and the project’s main objective is to upgrade school hygiene facilities to ensure girls have access to safe, private and hygienic spaces for menstrual health.  


In Papua New Guinea there were critical delays in the implementation of activities and planned infrastructure to improve the water and sanitation facilities. Facility designs were complicated and made more time intensive than expected, due to the area’s high water table and the low quality of some of the schools existing infrastructure. However the project continued to move ahead and Girls now have the information and hygienic facilities needed, to manage their periods and seek appropriate care for their reproductive needs.


While completing baseline work in the schools, WaterAid is also focused on identifying new partnerships and collaborating with the Department of Education on expanding WaterAid’s tools in the Curriculum. The strength of this growing relationship has been positive and has been seen through 2 other schools reaching out to WaterAid after the Department of Education shared the teacher training tools with them.


Wateraid also promoted a roundtable on creating a community of practice around Menstrual Health. This was attended by a diverse group of stakeholders including representatives from the Department of Education, Pacific Women, the Digicel Foundations, UNICEF and many others.  The event was highly engaging and the discussion and ideas are being used to inform a PNG Menstrual Health community of practice to be led by the Department of Education with the support of other government departments and WaterAid.


Bunderra Foundation looks forward to hearing about further updates and works in this important space, as we progress through the project timeline.

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