Flying over the highlands of PNG and looking down on the huge forests, more and more houses with a corrugated iron roof can be spotted. For hundreds of years the people used to live under a grass roof. Many still do. But apart from easier maintenance and higher sustainability, having a corrugated iron roof helps with collecting rain water. However, even for those with corrugated iron roofs and a small drum to collect water, after a couple of days of dry weather this runs out. Then a time-consuming walk to a nearby stream becomes a daily necessity in order to collect water for cooking; water which might not be that clean at all.
For the people of Feranmin in PNG, life is becoming easier. A pipeline is about to be built bringing water from a permanent water source higher near the base of a nearby mountain and deliver it to villages along its way. Clean water, fresh from the mountain! No need for pumps or ﬁlters or strenuous walks to carry it home.
Kevin, an assistant to the Ward Council of the Kialikmin community (made up of four villages), has been designated to supervise this water supply project funded by the local member: to install pipes to bring clean water from the mountain side down to the community. When seeing all the material unloaded from the Twin Otter at Feranmin, Kevin said, "Thank you, for helping out with this, otherwise we would not be able to carry out this project.“
From the airstrip at Feranmin, all the materials still need to "walk" about 2 km, a task carried out by the people who live there. Many of the community helped with the unloading of the Twin Otter. Richie Axon, the Captain on this ﬂight, observed that all the tools and other small materials, like cement bags, were loaded into bilums (strong and elastic hand woven string bags locally made of natural ﬁbres). Larger items like the rolls of poly-pipe and sheets of form ply for concreting were carried by several men. Richie commented, “there are very few other aircraft that can match the Twin Otter to carry this load and land at an airstrip like this, ﬂat and only 530m long, surrounded by bush. We really appreciate the generosity of the donors, who help keep our aircraft ﬂying.“ With their giving we can cover the costs for fuel, maintenance, aviation insurance and other expenses for the aircraft to continue what we are here for: to bring life-changing help to isolated communities.