Picture: Loop PNG
The country’s first water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) policy has attracted the support of various development partners since its introduction in 2015.
With the national government’s commitment in having such a policy, it has since enabled focus areas identified to be addressed with increased expression of interest from development partners in the form of water and sanitation projects.
Program management unit co-ordinator, Takale Tuna said this when speaking at the Yumi Olgeta media event organised by the United Nations and European Union last week in Port Moresby.
“As the result of the policy being passed by government we have actually been able to put together a lot of the development partners like World Bank has provided us a loan, EU has provided us some funding through UNICEF to address WaSH in schools and WaSH in health centres.”
“Also ADB is looking at peri-urban, which is basically the settlements, but also towns as well.”
“Also DFAT (Australia’s Department of Foreign Affair and Trade) have expressed interest and JICA (Japan’s aid program). So just because of the policy and the wash PMU (program management unit) that I head, there has been quiet great interest of the development partners to come around and help us address our water sanitation hygiene access.”
The WaSH policy aims to reduce water-borne diseases, reduce the amount of time that women especially spend their time collecting water, and equity issues to marginalised group in accessing water sanitation.
“Those are the main goals in terms of government improving the quality of life for Papua New Guineans,” Mr Tuna said.
PNG has never had a WaSH Policy and approaches to achieving national targets have been random and unco-ordinated.
As a result, access to improved water sources and safe sanitation has been declining in recent years as services fail to keep up with population growth and demand.