Partnering with WaterAid in Papua New Guinea

Partnering with WaterAid in Papua New Guinea

Water and sanitation projects are delivered in Papua New Guinea's remote Torricelli Mountains, thanks to MAF's partnership with WaterAid

The Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) base camp in Lumi, in north-west Papua New Guinea (PNG), can be reached by a 12 hour road trip from Wewak. But the road is often impassable, due to extensive flooding or poor road conditions. WaterAid therefore uses MAF's services to fly to Lumi, which enables consistent, safe and timely access to partners like TCA.

Samuel Cleary, WaterAid’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) adviser in Wewak, explains:

‘The WaterAid Papua New Guinea programme currently works in seven provinces within the country. PNG has the lowest level of access to safe and adequate water and sanitation in the Pacific.

‘A total of 4.2 million people in PNG (60% of the population) don’t have access to safe water and 5.6 million don’t have access to adequate sanitation (80% of the population). Over 900 children die every year in PNG from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

‘WaterAid PNG was able to provide 2,900 people with access to safe water and 7,100 people with access to improved sanitation in 2012/13. We have also been involved in the task force to develop a national WASH policy for PNG, with the aim of increasing access to safe water and adequate sanitation to 70% of the population by 2030.

‘About 85% of the population of PNG lives in hard to reach rural locations, with little or no public services. An example is the communities in the Torricelli Mountain ranges, in East Sepik and Sundaun Provinces, which are only accessible on foot.

‘The Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA), one of WaterAid PNG’s local partners, has been working with local communities to improve water and sanitation conditions in the Torricelli Mountains for the past eight years. WaterAid PNG has been helping to develop capacity of the TCA field staff to implement effective WASH programmes in 50 villages, with the aim of extending this to another 100 villages in the coming years.

‘TCA and WaterAid PNG are working together to assist communities to have access to 10 litres per person per day. Materials provided to villages include a 9,000L tank, corrugated roofing, nails, taps, fittings and cement for the tank stand and drainage. The communities provide a 10% contribution to the material costs in order to promote ownership of the project. Villagers assist in providing local wood for the shelter and labour to transport materials to the village and construct the cement tank stand, roof catchment and guttering.’

For MAF staff, it is a pleasure to fly organisations like WaterAid, helping to meet some of the most basic human needs in the isolated regions of PNG, and enabling community development and improvement of living conditions.

MAF connects with over 60 Christian and humanitarian organisations in PNG. Our flights increase their effectiveness and help to keep them running so that more remote people can receive the help they need.