Sanitation enterprise meeting challenge of urbanisation in Solomon Islands

Honiara has one of the highest urban growth rates in the region, and globally (see report). Urban areas are growing at nearly twice the rate of the nation, approximately 4.7 per cent every year— that’s a doubling of the urban population almost every 16 years. Some peri-urban areas (settlements on the outskirts of Honiara) are growing at twice this rate, or more, according to the 2009 Solomon Islands census.

Urban land and housing pressures are mounting and need locally generated responses that create greater affordability, certainty and equity. Urban population growth will continue, and that means people will need homes, land and services. All are in short supply in Honiara. Residents living in settlements can make a valuable contribution to setting priorities, harnessing community skills and leadership, and creating new work options.

Partnerships between government, NGOs and civil society groups are important for the successful expansion of Honiara and the surrounding region. One example of such a partnership is between Live & Learn, the Honiara City Council and two community-based sanitation enterprises in the peri-urban settlements of Namoliki and Henderson. Both of these areas are experiencing rapid growth, and face a complete lack of government sanitation services. The community-based sanitation enterprises are local small businesses who are providing affordable toilet options for families.

To mark World Toilet Day (19 November) Live & Learn spoke with Joanna Kwalea, Manager for the Namoliki Sanitation Enterprise, about their sanitation products and operations.


The two sanitation enterprises in Honiara are supported by Live & Learn through the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing & Innovation Program, which is funded by the Australian government through the Civil Society WASH Fund.



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