Morobe’s Nabak LLG set to achieve Open defecation free status

25 February 2021
Open defecation.
UNICEF PNG/2021

Port Moresby, 25 February 2021 – The Nabak Local Level Government (LLG) area in Nawaeb District, Morobe Province is set to make history by becoming the first ever LLG in the country to declare itself open defecation free (ODF).

Over 9,000 people including nearly 3,800 children in more than 1,800 households in Nabak LLG’s 46 communities are benefitting from this achievement that is contributing immensely to improving their health, well-being and productivity through the EU UNICEF supported Klinpela Komuniti Projek.

The open defecation free status will be declared at the end of this month while the certification will be done in mid-March.

“The European Union sees access to safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene as key to healthier communities and ultimately to improved quality and economic wellbeing when people are free from disease. We are glad to see this success by the people of Nabak LLG in Nawaeb District and I convey my warmest congratulations to the entire community that contributed to achieving this goal together,” said Ambassador Jernej Videtic, the EU Head of Delegation to Papua New Guinea.

“The EU will continue its long-standing support to the government in its effort to bring safe water and improved sanitation to all Papua New Guineans through the National WASH Policy,” he added.

“This achievement is the fruit of high-level leadership involvement at both district and LLG levels during the implementation of this project and the support given to our teams working in the communities,” said Everlyn Mikasimo, Nawaeb District Project Coordinator from World Vision, one of UNICEF’s project implementing partner organisations.

The Klinpela Komuniti Projek is supporting 800 communities across four districts (Nawaeb, Goroka, Hagen Central and Central Region of Bougainville) to attain Open Defecation Free status through the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach.

Nawaeb District as a whole is on a steady course to become the first ever district in the country to achieve ODF status in PNG by the end of March 2021,thanks to the support of local government leaders and the dedication of Klinpela Komuniti Project community motivators, which are motivating communities to end open defecation.

“I am proud of the people Nabak for being the first LLG in PNG to achieve an open defecation free declaration and certification status. It has been a long difficult journey since we started at the beginning of 2019,” said the CEO of Nawaeb District Development Authority, James Neapakuli.

“We look forward to seeing less diseases and improved health among children and other family members. We are now encouraging other communities to emulate the people of Nabak,” he added.

According to the 2019 Joint Monitoring Programme Report, only 15% of the population in PNG have access to improved sanitation facilities. Poor sanitation is a leading cause of waterborne diseases including diarrhoea, a major killer for children under 5 years. Poor sanitation is also a major contributor to stunting or impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition and repeated infection. According to the PNG Nutritional Policy 2016 – 2026, nearly four out of 10 children in the country suffer from stunting which causes about 20% of all mortality of children under age 5 and leads to long term cognitive defects, poor performance in school or fewer years of completed schooling, and lower adult economic productivity.

“Poor sanitation, and especially open defecation is a major cause of preventable illnesses and deaths especially in children. The largest health benefits that come from improving sanitation and hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children and wellbeing of people in general,” said UNICEF Representative, Claudes Kamenga. “UNICEF is committed in this partnership with the EU, government and partners to support communities to improve their health through community driven actions and solutions.”

The Klinpela Komuniti Projek is supporting 800 communities across four districtsto attain Open
Defecation Free status through the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach. These include Hagen Central in Western Highlands Province where the project is implemented by Care International, Goroka in Eastern Highlands, where UNICEF works with OXFAM and Touching the UnTouchables as well as Central Bougainville District in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville with World Vision International.

Media contacts

Noreen Chambers
Communication Specialist
UNICEF
Tel: +675 321 3000

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