The project, to be executed in two phases over four years, will be implemented in close collaboration with District Development Authorities (DDAs) in the four districts of Nawae (Morobe Province), Central Bougainville (Autonomous Regional of Bougainville), Goroka (EHP) and Hagen Central (WHP).
“UNICEF is delighted to work in partnership with the European Union (EU), the Government of Papua New Guinea and the DDAs in the four districts to implement phase one of this important project, UNICEF Representative, Karen Allen said at the launch of the first phase of the project.
“Poor sanitation, unsafe water and unhygienic practices are major causes of preventable illness and deaths especially in children. While access to safe water is 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,” Allen stressed.
"The European Union is one of the largest donors of WASH assistance worldwide. In Papua New Guinea, the EU Delegation has been actively supporting this focal sector over 40 years of partnership. This joint EU-UNICEF-PNG project will provide sustainable access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation and key hygiene practices in rural areas in schools and health facilities in line with the PNG’s National WASH Policy. This strategic approach to join our forces targeting schools and health centres is essential to continue progress towards Sustainable Development Goals", mentioned the Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos.
Four selected non-governmental organisations – World Vision, Plan International, Oxfam and Infra Tech will support respective DDAs in the four districts for five months. During the first phase, they will, amongst other things, develop a five-year WASH plan and budget for access to safe water, handwashing facilities and improved sanitation and hygiene practices.
Phase two of the project, expected to start in September 2018, will see the implementation of WASH services for 200 schools, 36 health centres and hygiene behaviour change services in 800 communities.
In commending the Government for its holistic WASH policy, and for establishing a WASH Management Unit, developing an Implementation Strategy, and facilitating an institutional structure to implement the Policy, the EU and UNICEF said: “Improving access to and use of safe water, basic sanitation and improved hygiene practices will reduce child mortality, improve health and education outcomes and contribute to reduced poverty and sustainable development as a whole.”