Rural Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Changemakers Awards

April 2, 2024

Students washing their hands at Siota school, Central Province.


Adverse health problems, caused by a lack of access to clean water, proper sanitation, and practicing appropriate hygiene behaviour, continues to be a constant problem in the Solomon Islands. Despite national policies envisioning universal access to these essentials, progress has been slow with rural areas lagging behind urban counterparts.


The country’s Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) policy envisaged all Solomon Islanders with easy access to sufficient quantity and quality of water, appropriate sanitation, and living in a safe and hygienic environment. Access to basic water services has decreased from 69.3 percent in 2015 to 67.3 percent in 2021. 


In alignment with these priorities, UNDP's Provincial Governance Service Delivery (PGSD) project has recently emphasized the urgency of WASH interventions, particularly in schools and healthcare facilities. 


Therefore the 'Rural WASH Champions/Changemakers Award' emerges to recognise those driving transformative change in WASH service delivery. Its objectives encompass amplifying awareness, celebrating impactful initiatives, and encouraging a 'whole of society approach' towards realizing WASH rights.


The awards comprise six categories, including Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, Institutions, Inclusive Development, and a special WASH Media Award. Each category recognizes champions from diverse sectors, with winners receiving not only prestigious accolades but also substantial prize money and extensive visibility through media coverage.


Eligibility extends to individuals, organizations, and entities making tangible contributions to WASH improvement, while nominations are open to all sectors of society. An independent panel of judges, comprising technical experts and government representatives, will evaluate submissions based on criteria such as achievement level, innovation, community-led solutions, and impact.


Submissions, in the form of compelling narratives and supporting documentation, must be emailed to by 30 September 2024. The culminating event on World Toilet Day, 19 November 2024, will honor awardees, offering a platform to share their inspiring stories and catalyze further action in the pursuit of equitable WASH access. 


Through this, we celebrate changemakers that are shaping a healthier, more sustainable future for all Solomon Islanders.


This work is supported with thanks to the European Union.


To apply please click on this link - WASH Changemakers Award Application Form | United Nations Development Programme (


For more information on the WASH Awards, please write to Daniel Calderon Gonzalez to