By ELIZABETH VUVU
THE New Ireland provincial government has undertaken to build public toilets in town and rural centres in an initiative to lift the standard of hygiene in the province.
Governor Sir Julius Chan said he might be branded as the “governor for haus Pekpek” but such remarks would not bring him down as the important human need for toilet facilities were not available in the towns and public places.
Around 30 villages were earmarked to lift their standard of living.
Under the programme, the provincial government also wants to set the minimum standard for proper sanitation and hygiene in urban and rural centres and consequently educate the public about healthy living standard and practices.
Construction of toilets is currently underway at various locations including Lambom, Lamassa, Samo, Huris, Nokon, Sohum and Namatanai by a local building contractor, Mosbi Glass and Aluminum.
Sir Julius said the provincial government earmarked K400,000 in this year’s budget to build 20 village toilets but popular demand even from the outer lying islands like Tingwon, Limanak and Umbukul had pushed the figure to over 30.
Sir Julius said more than K1.4 million was allocated in this year’s budget for public and village toilets.