PORT MORESBY, Papa New Guinea -Appropriate tariffs are needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of water supply in Papua New Guinea (PNG), a new report has concluded.
A World Bank study that examined existing rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene schemes looked at 21 communities to gather evidence about the sustainability of existing rural water supply systems.
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 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.
Basic water supply and sanitation needs in the country remain large - an estimated 4.2 million Papua New Guineans (over 61% of the population) do not have access to safe water.
Furthermore, approximately 3.8 million people, or 55% of the population, do not have access to improved sanitation.
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 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.
Stefanie Stallmeister, the World Bank’s country manager for Papua New Guinea, said: “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.”