Report: Lack of govt funding impedes PNG’s plan for MDGs

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 09th November 2011

PAPUA New Guinea is seriously off-track in meeting its millennium development goals for sanitation because of a lack of government investment in it.
A report from the European Union’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation programme said in order for the government to achieve its 2030 target of having 70% of the population access proper sanitation, an estimated 450,000 to 60,000 rural households would need to gain sanitation each year.
The report, which was released at a two-day conference on water, sanitation and hygiene in Port Moresby, showed that the largest water and sanitation programme in the country would have reached only 4% of the rural population in its six-year life which ends in 2012.
It cited high population growth, geographical diversity, isolated communities and complex communication with low income earning as major challenges.
To date the programme, through its Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) exercise, has reached over 400 communities in 15 rural provinces with the support of non-state agencies. About 20,000 latrines are to be built by 2012.
The report showed that Eastern Highlands was on its way to becoming the first open defecation-free province with Kukura village in the Lufa district becoming the first community to achieve a 100% rate, meaning each household has a toilet.
Central, on the other hand, was categorised as a difficult province to work with because of its closeness to the city and the free handout mentality of the people.