Concern Over Water Hygiene in Pacific Region

By Sarah E. Treptow
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

MELBOURNE, Australia – Oxfam in Papua New Guinea has told the Sanitation and Water Conference being held in Melbourne that they are having trouble meeting the challenge of delivering adequate sanitation and water programs to remote communities in the Pacific region.  The conference was organized as part of the International Year of Sanitation and includes representatives from various United Nations agencies, aid agencies, and the World Bank.

It is reported at the conference that one in three people living in rural and remote communities do not have access to water hygiene and sanitation facilities.  Pauline Komolong, a water engineer for Oxfam, said “Some of the challenges are such things as the terrain where it’s impossible getting there; sometimes you walk across gushing rivers, climb mountains and when you are transporting materials sometimes it takes a long time because of all the logistics that are involved.”

World Vision estimated in 2004 that in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, 100 million people were living without safe water and 185 million were living without adequate sanitation.

For more information, please see:
Radio Australia – UN highlights the cost of lack of sanitation – 29 October 2008
Fiji Times Online – Water hygiene an issue – 29 October 2008
Islands Business – Struggle in Pacific to deliver water services – 29 October 2008

Author: Impunity Watch Archive