PORT MOREBSY, March 22, 2017 – Reliable, clean water supplies are a step closer for many of the most remote communities across PNG. The Water Supply & Sanitation Development Project is an initiative of the Government of Papua New Guinea that is supported by the World Bank.
The project was formally agreed to today in a ceremony in Port Moresby to mark World Water Day 2017.
“The supply of clean drinking water for communities throughout Papua New Guinea has been among the priority programs undertaken by the current Government. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) program implemented in conjunction with the World Bank will help ensure that the Government’s ambitious policy goals will be met,” said Papua New Guinea Treasurer, Hon. Patrick Pruaitch.
The US$70 million (PGK223 million) project will deliver access to clean and reliable water supply services for tens of thousands of people living in nine provincial towns and 10 rural districts across PNG.
The Department of National Planning & Monitoring and Water PNG, as the implementing agencies, will oversee the expansion of water services in provincial and district towns across PNG that currently do not have water supply systems. The project will also see support to households for the installation of new or refurbished piped water connections, with the aim of reducing the need for communities to collect water from distant sources; a task that is disproportionately borne by women and girls.
The project will also support the implementation of the Government of PNG’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WaSH) Policy, including the roll out of a range of education programs aimed at increasing healthy hygiene habits. The WaSH Policy is a culmination of several years of government planning, supported by development partners including the World Bank, EU and UN and aims to provide a safe, convenient and sustainable water supply to 70% of the population in rural areas and 95% of the population in urban areas by 2030.
“As the saying goes: water is life. It is essential to health, education and business. The Government of PNG has made clear through its new WaSH Policy that ensuring Papua New Guineans have access to safe, reliable sanitation, and a safe, clean and sustainable water supply is a priority,” said the World Bank’s Acting Country Manager for Papua New Guinea, Anne Tully.
“The Government has set ambitious targets for addressing some of the shortfalls in water and sanitation services across the country. Through this PGK223 million project, we are proud to be supporting the Government of PNG in getting clean water and sanitation to many thousands of people.”
PNG’s basic water supply and sanitation needs are significant. According to the latest figures from the 2015 World Health Organization / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program, only 40 percent of the population has access to safe water, and just 20 percent have access to safe, reliable sanitation. The new project will support the PNG Government to oversee policy implementation, regulation, training and monitoring, with provincial, district, and local governments receiving support for the planning and management of rural water supply services.
This project is funded through a credit provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the world’s most in-need countries.