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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 Global Handwashing Day is being celebrated around the globe on October 15. Simply washing hands with soap breaks the transmission route of infectious diseases, which is crucial in saving lives. Washing hands with soap at critical times can reduce diarrhoeal incidence by 47%. Diarrhoea occupies a leading position among diseases as a cause of death and illness, especially in children.

In the Pacific region, around 3000 children under the age of 5 years die from diarrhoea annually. Globally, hand washing could save around 1 million lives, more than any single vaccine or medical intervention.

Hand washing with soap at critical times is a simple and cost-effective measure to improve health and will significantly reduce the two leading causes of childhood mortality worldwide – diarrhoeal disease and acute respiratory infection.