SPC Geoscience Division

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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

Construction has just been completed of the new Emergency Operation Centre in Palau for the Government of Palau at a cost of about US$480,000.00. Funding for the building was made available by the European Union through the Disaster Risk Reduction Project implemented by the Applied Geoscience & Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

The President of the Republic of Palau, His Excellency Johnson Toribiong and SOPAC Director, Dr. Russell Howorth, unveiled the plaque officially opening the building.  In his opening statement Dr. Russell Howorth stated that “ the new Emergency Operation Centre will strengthen the capacity of the National Emergency Management Office prepare for and respond to natural disasters. It is important that we build community resilience to reduce the loss of human life.” The project will also equip the new building with early warning communication equipment and improve the linkage with remote communities.