Kawiapo village is located at the north bank of the Fly River in the Middle Fly District of Western Province. The community is made up of the Gogodala tribe and has an estimated population of 700 people. The village has a primary school and an aid post serving the local communities.
It was one man, Mr Tolo Gauba’s desire to develop the community through the Healthy Village concept when he introduced the idea to the community in 2014. However, the community did not understand the concept and it wasn’t until the CMCA Middle and South Fly Health Program (CMSFHP) introduced the Health Village model and held trainings that the people gradually understood the need for a healthier community.
A community analysis was conducted through the Community Action and Participation process, priority needs were identified, and plans were developed and implemented by the community under supervision of the CMSFHP Healthy Village program.
One of the priority needs was containing the erosion of soil at the river banks from the flooding of the Fly River. The soil erosion posed a great risk to the families living near the river banks. CMSFHP Village Health Coordinator, Mr Cyril Yama, in a meeting with the village leaders suggested a seawall be built from logs and coconut trunks to slow down the process of soil erosion. The construction of the sea wall started on the 30th August 2018 and will continue along the river bank.
Mr Gauba expressed his gratitude to partners like World Vision for their WASH program in the village which they helped build water catchments, and two ventilated improvement pit (VIP) latrines for the school. He also thanked CMSFHP for providing health services to their community as well as introducing the Healthy Village concept. Mr Jimmy Bono, ward member for Kawiapo said his people became lazy when waiting for services to reach them – “We want to make change ourselves using the skills, knowledge and resources and labour we have within the community, that’s why we see Healthy Village concept as a holistic approach and the way forward for Kawiapo”.
Kawiapo Village is a model village for implementing the Healthy Village concept.
CMSFHP is funded by the CMCA portion of the Western Province People’s Dividend Trust Fund through Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF). The program is managed by OTDF and implemented by Abt Associates.