EcoEng Newsletter No. 12, June 2006

PNG Waterboard supports local community sanitation projects

Content No. 12/06
  Title page / Index
  Water from the well
  Phototrophic biofilms
  optimising waste flow
  India: Water supply
  schemes in a slum
  Austria: Sewerless city
  Composting: Ch. 5
  PNG: Ecosan project
  Biopros project
  Ecosan curriculum CD
EcoEng News:
  Joe Swamp
Various issues:
  IEES Writers' Fund
  Mailing list
  EE-Newsletter Flier
by Mary Piafu
Papua New Guinea Waterboard

Mary Piafu is Public Relations Officer with the Papua New Guinea Waterboard, an organization that is responsible for providing quality, safe water and sanitation services to the urban population throughout Papua New Guinea.

Useful links:
PNG country reports (ADB):
More information on LCS-CAHE project:
Map of Papua New Guinea:
Figure 1: The low cost sanitation project which is being completed in Lae Morobe Province
Photo: Mary Piafu

It's clean, it's healthy and that's what many mothers and children in Lae think about their newly installed Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines (VIPLs) at their homes. VIPLs are proving to be a cost- effective sanitation system for the local communities.

The VIPLs are part of a project known as the Low-Cost Sanitation, Community Awareness and Health Education (LCS-CAHE). The LCS program is a three year program and is being pilot tested in Lae and Madang. The project is the first of its kind undertaken by PNG Waterboard as the implementing agency towards helping the under- or less-privileged people of the urban communities in particular those in urban fringe villages or town communities.

The LCS-CAHE project was made possible with funding from the Japanese Government in the form of a grant worth US$ 1.74 million (= 5.6 million Papua Guinea Kina, PGK) provided for under the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) and administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Papua New Guinea Government has made a commitment of about PGK 1.3 million towards this project.

The VIPLs have been installed and trialed in villages around the city of Lae, such as Yanga and Butibam, as well as settlement areas such as Three-Mile, Four-Mile, Boundary Road, and Bundi camp, and are becoming popular that others are asking PNG Waterboard to provide more of this type of service.

There are two components to this project that compliment each other. The Low Cost Sanitation (LCS) programme activities provide for the construction and maintenance of appropriate low-cost sanitation facilities such as VIPLs aimed at addressing inadequate sanitation for the urban poor and others. The other component is the Community Awareness and Health Education (CAHE) which caters for health awareness campaigns that are aimed at educating people about appropriate toilet use and maintenance, and provide information on health and sanitation.

Acting Project Manager- Chris Sioni describes the project as community-oriented because it involves the local stakeholders including local level governments and individual beneficiaries within the selected communities.

Figure 2: Map of papua New Guinea (PNG)

In major towns of PNG, many low income earners live in unsanitary conditions and the present practices in human waste disposal can harm their health and pollute the environment. There are high incidences of diarrhea and other waterborne preventable diseases among the urban poor in the provincial towns, and getting people to participate in ensuring they have proper and affordable sanitation system is very important, said Mr Sioni.

"It is pleasing to note that with this project we get a lot of community involvement and support, and as recipients they are encouraged to contribute to this project through the provision of local labour and materials, while at the same time, they can claim ownership and responsibility," Mr Sioni said.

PNG Waterboard has just completed phase one of the programme in Lae, while Madang is yet to be completed. Phase two of the programme will include Mount Hagen, Wewak and Alotau. Construction of the VIPLs in Mount Hagen, Wewak and Alotau will start as soon as all tender processes are completed and tenders awarded to local contractors to construct these low cost sanitation facilities.

© 2006, International Ecological Engineering Society, Wolhusen, Switzerland