Since the 2009 tsunami the Samoa Red Cross Society has assisted vulnerable households with water and sanitation.

With support from the New Zealand Red Cross, the water and sanitation team is now concentrating on households that do not have a reticulated water supply.

The programme uses rainwater harvesting as a viable long-term solution, as it provides suitable catchment solutions and tanks to store water. This is coupled with upgraded hygiene facilities.

Samoa Red Cross has developed ventilation improved pit latrines – adapted to local conditions – and is building toilets that can be moved on an annual basis.

After three successful projects, one in conjunction with UNDP and another in conjunction with European Union and AusAID, the Government of Samoa now considers the Samoa Red Cross Society to be a leading practitioner in the field.

This year the National Society was awarded a government contract to carry out the technical work toward meeting Millennium Development Goals: providing rain water harvesting and improved sanitation to 1,000 of the most vulnerable families over the next three years. The National Society will provide staff, undertake the planning and execution of the project and purchase all materials. The total cost of the project is US$2.8 million.