Lynne Shori returned to us this week with an always interesting report on the village toilet progress (phase one) in three communities.

Lynne’s presence in PNG has a number of purposes, the most practical being to inspect the toilet blocks constructed in the communities of Popeu, Loamat and Bundrou. Each community has decorated its block with available materials-rubber thongs and plastic bags being utilised liberally. Lynne provided colourful, effective signage with education/rules for toilet usage to complement existing efforts of communication. She made the point that this interest in the toilet blocks was a sure sign that ownership of these facilities was underway. Lynne indicated that the varying percentages of toilet use in these communities (Bundrou 30% and Loamat 50%) reveal cultural and practical issues at play. For instance the physical distance of the toilet from the homes and women disagreement over issues other than toilets discouraged some community participation.

Lynne has achieved success in getting all 9 ward leaders to commit to an expansion of the toilet project to Nauna, Tong and Pak islands. Happily, the close-knit nature of Papua New Guineans, whereby kinship ties extend far beyond immediate communities, makes this expansion a family matter of mutual responsibility. Phase Two seems imminent. The Boroko Rotary club are keen to support the project after Lynne’s persuasive presentations.

A particular highlight for Lynne was harnessing the support of the LLG President, Patrick Palek, who is keen to “champion the cause to have RAPATONA become the first 100% ODF LLG in Manus”.

Lynne’s generous work here is of inspiration to other Manly Rotarians and we are thankful for her articulate and quietly passionate approach to this project. We particularly enjoy the ongoing education about PNG’s people and customs.