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Water and Sanitation Programme

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A long-term programme of capacity building, advocacy and awareness in sustainable water management for Pacific Island Countries.

SOPAC, the regional agency mandated to coordinate water and sanitation in the Pacific, provides support to its member countries through three components: Water Resources Management; Water and Sanitation Services; and Water Governance.

Pacific Island countries have uniquely fragile water resources due to their small size, lack of natural storage, competing land use and vulnerability to natural hazards.


Pollution of freshwater resources, unsafe drinking water supplies and inadequate sanitation can have a significant impact on public health, quality of life, the environment and economic development.


Urbanization, rural development, growing populations, climate change and increased demand from industry and agriculture is putting further pressure on the region’s freshwater resources, threatening the long term viability of communities and islands.


Natural disasters exacerbate water issues. Excessive rainfall, often linked to cyclones and typhoons, causes flooding and disruption of drinking water supplies. Small islands that rely on groundwater and/or rainwater harvesting are highly vulnerable to droughts, often linked to El Niño or La Niña triggered climatic disruptions. Both situations – too much or too little water – compromise the safety of drinking water supplies and increase the risk to public health.

www.pacificwater.org

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:44  


Newsflash

The second country engagement to establish a DRM Mainstreaming for PNG took place on the 3rd-14th May 2010 with representatives from SOPAC, UNDP Pacific Centre and UNDP PNG. This was a follow up mission to the first country engagement in February this year. The intention of the first mission was to scope out a process for the development and implementation of a DRM National Action Plan.

However, in the initial stages of the mission, stakeholders dispelled the prospects for the development of a comprehensive national approach to mainstreaming as would normally be undertaken through the mainstreaming exercise. The geography and population of PNG make the concept of DRM mainstreaming difficult. The need to strengthen DRM in PNG is heightened by the fact that nearly 25% of the natural disasters occurring in the Pacific between 1950-2008 were in PNG (EM-DAT1).