WASH project to benefit 55,000 people launched in Nawae District, Morobe Province
PORT MORESBY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2018 – More than 55,000 people including nearly 14,000 children in the Nawaeb District in Morobe Province, will have increased access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) services in the coming four years.
This follows the launch of a 5-year WASH project that will be delivered and supported jointly by the European Union (EU) and UNICEF in collaboration with the Government of Papua New Guinea, and is expected to have significant positive impact on the productivity, health and well-being of beneficiaries.
Phase one of the project was launched today in a ceremony at the Boana station in Nawaeb District by the EU Acting Head of Cooperation, Mr. Adrien Mourgues, UNICEF WASH Specialist, Mr. Pravin More, Chief Executive Officer for Nawaeb District Development Authority, Mr. James Niapukali and Nawaeb Open Member of Parliament, Hon. Kennedy Wenge.
“Poor sanitation, unsafe water and unhygienic practices are major causes of preventable illness and deaths especially in children. While access to safe water in important, 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. UNICEF is committed to working with partners in this project to mobilize communities to promote behavioural change through community driven actions and solutions,” said David Mcloughlin, UNICEF Country Representative.
The Nawaeb District Development Authority will work with World Vision, a non-government organisation to develop the five-year plan and implement the project. In addition to improving WASH services in schools and health centres, project will also reach 190 beneficiary communities in the District through hygiene promotion initiatives aimed at encouraging improved hygiene practices in families and communities.
The European Union has been supporting access to clean water and sanitation in PNG through successive Rural Water Supply and Sanitation projects since the 90's. These projects resulted in access to safe water for over 200,000 people especially in remote areas.
In 2017, the European Union provided over €130 million (PGK 500 million) for WaSH oriented projects worldwide. Lack of access to clean water and to basic sanitation increases the vulnerability of populations to several diseases and is a major obstacle to social and economic development.
“This project will contribute towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through improved access to WaSH services, reduced infant morbidity and mortality, poverty alleviation, reduced chronic malnutrition and stunting. It will also improve maternal and child health and education outcomes which are major contributors to a country’s economic growth.
The new project is also expected to significantly impact the quality of life of women, men and children by enabling a healthier and safer living environment," Head of the European Union Delegation, Ambassador Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos said.
Three other districts – Hagen Central District in Western Highlands Province, Goroka in Eastern Highlands and Central Bougainville District in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville – have also been selected to benefit from this programme. Central Bougainville District launched phase one of its project in June 2018.
Overall, 160,000 people, including 40,000 children from 200 schools, 36 health centres and 800 neighbouring communities across the four Districts will have benefitted from improved WSH services by the time this project reaches completion in 2022.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Papua New Guinea, visit https://www.unicef.org/png/