Preparing for the rebuild after the floods in Tenaru, Solomon Islands
St Joseph’s School is located within Tenaru, Guadalcanal Province of the Solomon Islands. The primary aim of the project is to provide St Josephs with basic staff accommodation facilities required to provide the schools education services and reduce increasingly expensive maintenance costs on the current buildings. St Joseph’s was established in the late 1940s as a boys’ school, becoming co-educational in 1972 and supports more than 522 students, 33 Staff (teaching and non-teaching) and the surrounding community. Many of the buildings and classrooms that stand today are original.
Due to annual weather events, parts of the school experience flooding for a period of two or three weeks each year. Nearly all the staff accommodation experience this annual flooding event. More recently, this region was devastated by natural disasters. One recent rain event caused widespread flooding leaving 22 people dead and over 50,000 people homeless as over 100mm fell across the region. Consequently, the staff accommodation is in a state of disrepair with many of the houses unfit for human habitation.
While the project is aimed at improving the dilapidated staff accommodation, we anticipate that new accommodation buildings will also provide additional direct and indirect benefits to schooling life more broadly. Mainly, the staff accommodation buildings also act as food preparation areas for events and functions, as meeting rooms and emergency accommodation. The school is one of only seven National Secondary Schools within the Solomon Islands providing high school education to boys and girls. Students and staff travel from remote villages and islands from all over the Solomon’s to board at the school. Providing basic staff accommodation is vital for the school to attract teachers as well as supporting the continued growth of the local and wider community.