Leaving no one behind


NO one can live without water. You can live without food for a day or two but the same cannot be said of water.
Fresh water is necessary for the survival of all living organisms on Earth.
Our body is about 60 per cent water and we cannot survive more than a few days without it.
Water meets our physical needs while at the same time being of great spiritual importance to many people.
It is interesting that March 22 slipped by quietly with not many people celebrating World Water Day.
Coincidently, water supply into the city was disrupted, forcing service provider Eda Ranu to ration water until an amicable solution was reached between the Government and landowners.
World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water-related issues.
It is basically a day to focus on water and how important it is.
The theme for World Water Day was ‘Leaving no one behind,’ which is the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.
Today, billions of people are still living without safe water that is accessible on the premises, available when needed and free from contamination. We still have households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.
Marginalised groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.
Water is an essential building block of life.
It is more than being able to satisfy thirst or protect health, it is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.
Unicef PNG reported that while we as a country have made progress in improving access to clean water and sanitation facilities, there is still much work to be done.
Access to improved water supply in PNG has increased slightly since 1990 but access to sanitation facilities during the same period has declined slightly.
Water, sanitation and hygiene have always been treated as cousins because addressing the challenges of both sanitation and hygiene relies on the availability of clean water.
A study in 2016 released to mark World Water Day said PNG, where 60 per cent of the population live without a safe water supply, has the poorest access to clean water in the world even though there has been progress in taking reliable, clean water supplies closer our people, especially those in remote communities.
Despite having numerous rivers and tributaries in the country, the sad truth is that not everyone has access to clean water. Many in villagers have to walk very far for water.
As if that is not enough, for many living in towns and cities having a reliable supply of safe drinking water is a struggle every day.
Unless considerable improvements are made by the government and development partners, PNG will miss the national targets identified in the government’s development strategic plan 2030 and the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (Wash) policy.