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Water, sanitation and hygiene

© UNICEF Pacific/2013
International Handwashing Day celebrations in Kiribati

WHO and UNICEF estimates that 90% of the population in the Pacific can access improved water sources and that the region is on track to meet the corresponding millennium development goal in this area. However, just two-thirds of the population has access improved sanitation facilities with people in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu experiencing he lowest sanitation coverage in the region. In for example Kiribati, half the rural population practiced open defecation in 2011. This is part of the reason why incidents of diarrhea are 400% higher in Kiribati than in Australia and New Zealand. A greater push is required to increase sanitation in the region, especially in communities where open defecation is widely practiced. Nurturing demand for improved sanitation and hygiene behaviour in remote and rural areas in the Pacific is crucial to increasing coverage and improving the health of children and households.

From 2013 to 2017, the Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme will build on past successes to achieve the following results for children:

  • More communities, schools and health centres in rural and peri-urban areas have equitable access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene facilities.
  • Governments and communities have the capacity to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and adapt to climate change in the WASH sector.        
  • UNICEF-supported approaches such as community-led total sanitation and WASH in schools are successfully replicated throughout the region.
  • Availability of policies, budgets and minimum standards and sector-wide approaches in water and sanitation, especially in countries with human and financial resource constraints.

 

 

 

 

Read the Snapshot of Water and Sanitation in the Pacific

 


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