The Nationa, Monday July 16th, 2012
ABOUT 50,000 people living in the South Fly region of Western province will soon have access to clean water and improved health and sanitation as part of a multi-million kina water catchment project.
The project is funded by the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) through its financial commitment to the Ok Tedi Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) area and implemented by the Ok Tedi Fly River development programme (OTFRDP) through the three CMCA trust regions of Manawete, Kiwaba and Dudi.
Totalling K16.6 million, the project is aimed at improving the quality of water and improving sanitation and help train the villagers on water conservation and basic maintenance of water tanks and associated infrastructure.
A series of combined patrols were carried out into 49 villages within the Manawete, Dudi and Kiwaba Trust Regions by the OTFRDP, PNGSDP and other partners such as Western Power, AusAID and the Fly River provincial government.
Programme community development team leader Bill Rua said the project was initiated following a request from the three trust regions affected by the outbreak of cholera three years ago during which many people died.
PNGSDP will fund 90% of the project, while the remaining 10%, totalling K4 million, will be funded through the trust funds of the three respective trusts.
“During our first patrols in May, we found out that most of the villages did not have access to clean drinking water,” Rua said.
“Most of them were drinking from ground holes and streams that were not clean and were regularly contaminated by the Fly River waters.
“Even the villages have sanitation problems and most households were not using proper toilets.
“Thankfully part of this project will include training the villagers on how to build proper toilets,” Rua said.
He said each village would have a water committee that would be tasked to help implement the project, provide labour and training on how to maintain water tanks and related catchment facilities.
Project implementation is expected to start in November after all pre-feasibility studies are completed, funding is made available and a procurements and implementation schedule is confirmed.