Nearly 80 percent of Fijian surveyed communities do not have safely managed sanitation.
According to the Watershed Intervention for Systems Health in Fiji, or WISH Fiji, these communities do not have safely contained latrine back ends, which may be a contributing factor to higher risk environmental water quality in 44 percent of the communities.
Wildlife Conservation Society Regional Director Dr. Stacey Jupiter says they will continue their project work in these communities.
Five project watersheds were identified around the upper Navua, Waibula, Dawasamu, Bureta, and Dama rivers through collective decision–making with government staff, based on key selection criteria including the history of leptospirosis, typhoid, dengue and diarrhea, vulnerabilities, size, and connections to the coast.
“Collectively what we’ve seen through the WISH is that no one set of interventions alone on the individual scale is going to provide all of the benefits that we want for public health for biodiversity and for climate adaptation. It’s by doing these things collectively in a portfolio across all of these scales that we’re able to achieve these co-benefits that we want.”
The survey is based on 29 project communities, which were identified through direct consultation with provincial offices and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Over 5000 residents of project watersheds now have access to cleaner water, supporting national development targets.