Papua New Guinea Study identifies key considerations for Water and Sanitation

November 18, 2016

World Bank releases new PNG Water supply, sanitation and hygiene sustainability study


PORT MORESBY, November 18, 2016 - After examining existing rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene schemes, a new World Bank study from Papua New Guinea has identified key themes common to long term sustainability . 

The report, Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Sustainability Study which was released to mark World Toilet Day 2016, examined 21 rural communities to gather evidence about the sustainability of existing rural water supply systems. The study sought to investigate the factors influencing sustainability from the perspective of community members, including women and vulnerable groups.

Key recommendations identified in the study stress the importance of clear maintenance responsibilities, ownership, appropriate tariffs and conflict resolution as primary factors effecting sustainability.

The report, also found that consistency is required with regards to the provision of subsidies by implementation agencies, and that some degree of external support is almost always required, whether in terms of maintenance support, behavior change promotion or technical training.  In addition gender roles are examined in the study, which identified that women’s involvement contributes significantly to improved management and the role of women should be strengthened to promote improved sustainability.

The study was conducted to support the implementation of PNG’s new National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) Policy, which was introduced by the Government of Papua New Guinea in 2015.

Papua New Guinea’s (PNG’s) basic water supply and sanitation needs are large. According to a service delivery assessment report published in 2013, an estimated 4.2 million Papua New Guineans—which is 61% of the population—do not have access to safe water, and approximately 3.8 million people, or 55% of the population, do not have access to improved sanitation.

Stefanie Stallmeister, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Papua New Guinea said the PNG Water supply, sanitation and hygiene study was crucial to identifying and developing practical approaches to ensuring hard-earned improvements in water and sanitation are sustainable.

“Many of the challenges identified in this report can be addressed through the right evidence-base, ensuring policy and institutional reforms are not operating within a vacuum, and are working within the broader efforts of the Government of PNG and its development partners to tackle some of the country’s biggest development challenges,” said Ms. Stallmeister.

The proposed World Bank-supported Water Supply and Sanitation Development Project (WSSDP) will provide technical support for the development of government institutions and capacity building, sector policies and strategies in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in PNG. The project is also building coalitions among all of the organizations involved in improving water and sanitation in the country to help drive momentum toward a common vision, political support, increase investment – and above all, to help more Papua New Guineans get access to clean, safe water.

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