Takara Water Supply Project

In North-East Efate, Vanuatu, several communities are struggling with water supply due to the Takara Dam drying up. Oxfam and EWB New Zealand have partnered to work on designs to improve the situation.


Due to the Takara Dam drying up, several communities in North-East Efate, Vanuatu are struggling. To improve the situation Oxfam is looking at potential options, including installing a backup for Takara, by connecting the overflow of the Epule Top Tank (at a higher elevation 1.5km away) to the existing Takara Dam. 

To ensure that there is enough water to recharge Takara Dam as well as supply Epule Top, the existing pipeline from Epule Top will have to be upgraded to increase its capacity.



Oxfam has completed a pipeline design and asked EWB to peer review it. From Oxfam's designs and survey, EWB have produced a simple EPAnet model for the purpose of verifying their design. 




Our technical support team members worked together to evaluate Oxfam's design and produce a short technical memo with recommendations for this project.


EWB has completed our design review and made recommendations that improve the robustness and reduce the project costs. The Vanuatu Government, who are managing the construction of this project, have taken our suggestions on board. Procurement of materials and construction work will begin later this year.

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Sanitation in Challenging Environments

A quarter of Cambodia’s population live in more challenging geographical and environmental conditions such as regions prone to flooding, ground water contamination and hard rock areas, where conventional sanitation designs have proven unsuccessful.

In 2014, EWB Australia identified that appropriate technical solutions for Sanitation in Challenging Environments (SCE) was a niche area of need in the WASH sector.  In collaboration with partner organisations in Cambodia, EWBA began the SCE initiative to promote knowledge sharing, mobilise sector actors, build capacity of implementing partners and drive innovation to contribute to WASH sector program effectiveness to achieve sanitation access in challenging environments. 

EWBA, EWBNZ and Live and Learn have formed a partnership to build on a strong foundation of past experience, partnerships and momentum within the WASH sector around this issue in Cambodia and expand to other countries in the Pacific. This will be supported through several EWB programmes, including the SCE initiative and the EWB Challenge 2017.

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Wawan Villages Water Supply

wawan_council_small.jpgEWBNZ is working with a community group in Ambrym, Vanuatu to improve the water supply for two remote villages. During the dry season, the rainwater tanks run dry throughout the villages, and the locals have to trek several kilometres to the closest spring to fetch water. This is no easy task, as the one hour walk is up a steep slippery creek, which is even harder on the way down when they are carrying full buckets of water.  The two villages have a total population of around 150 people, and they live a mostly self-sufficient lifestyle, farming the land and rearing livestock for food.

This project is led by the Wawan Fonhal Development Council, who are a group of women on Ambrym responsible for water and sanitation projects across 9 villages. These women asked for our assistance with this project, as they did not have the technical expertise to carry out the project themselves.

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Live and Learn Vanuatu

Live_and_Learn_WASH_photo.jpgEngineers Without Borders New Zealand formed a partnership with Live and Learn in 2014.

An EWBNZ field professional, Sofia Lardies, travelled to Vanuatu in Nov 2014 and spent six months working with Live & Learn Vanuatu on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) initiatives. She provided technical support and capacity building to Live and Learn, relevant local authorities and other NGOs that are active in WASH work in Vanuatu.

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Vanuatu Earth Care Association

santo_solar_schools.jpgElectricity prices in Vanuatu are some of the highest in the Pacific, which leads to the high cost of running schools, and the subsequent negative impact on the availability and quality of education.

Vanuatu Earth Care Association (VECA) is an organisation based in Santo, Vanuatu that aims to build bridges for civil society and community organizations concerned for sustainable development. It also advocates on environmental issues in Vanuatu and the Pacific region at large.

EWBNZ has formed a partnership with VECA in April 2013, with the aim to reduce electricity costs for the schools in Santo, reduce carbon emissions and build local capacity on sustainable energy projects.

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Ambae School Wastewater System

Ambae_pipe_trenching.jpgIn September 2012, EWBNZ completed this project – a wastewater system and water supply for a school in Vanuatu. The project was initiated in 2010, when EWBNZ was engaged by the community in a small village on the remote Ambae Island, Vanuatu, to design and manage the construction of the first and only set of flushing toilets the island has ever seen.

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