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Water and Sanitation Services

“Water and Health, Tomorrow’s Wealth”

Ensuring people have access to a reliable supply of clean water and proper sanitation is vital to a nation’s health. The main role of SOPAC’s Water and Sanitation Services Component is to support Pacific island governments and water and wastewater service providers achieve this.

Water Quality Monitoring

The Water Quality Monitoring programme helps build national capacity to monitor the quality of drinking water, surface water, ground water and coastal waters. Countries are provided with basic water testing equipment and in-country training on best laboratory practice. In addition an electronic water quality database has been developed to assist countries better manage and analyse water quality data and link results to a regional back-up database.

Drinking Water Safety Planning

The Drinking Water Safety Planning Programme promotes a risk management approach for the provision of safe water supplies through collaboration between water utilities, regulators and resource managers. The programme supports the country efforts to implement system specific improvements for urban and rural water supplies and supports the involvement of communities in water safety awareness and advocacy.

Water Demand Management

The Water Demand Management Programme seeks to improve the capacity of Pacific urban water utilities to deal with unaccounted-for-water. In-country support is being provided to establish System Loss Management Plans and assist countries acquire both “hardware”, such as water meters, leak detection equipment or bulk water-saving devices for incentive or rebate schemes, and “software”, which includes training, community education materials and technical expertise.

Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene

The Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme promotes the use of appropriate technologies and approaches for domestic water supply and sanitation issues through awareness raising, demonstrating best practices and advocacy. This includes rainwater harvesting and mainstreaming gender and community participation in water supply and sanitation. Increasing interest and support by donors and other organisations on the critical issue of water and sanitation has resulted in a large number of overlapping interventions. Ensuring that work carried out is well coordinated, in order to optimise outputs and avoid duplication, has therefore become increasingly important. Partners have been mobilised to coordinate activities through the Pacific WASH Coalition, including coordinated responses in times of natural disasters through the Pacific Humanitarian Team.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 14:38  


Wednesday 10 July 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji – With the increasing flow of funding into the Pacific region for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation projects, it is essential to combine the perspectives of different sciences for effective outcomes. This is a key message from the Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable currently underway in Nadi, Fiji.

‘There are a lot of people with good intentions who want to do something useful about climate change adaptation,’ says Dr Arthur Webb of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).  ‘But for successful adaptation, we have to combine the sciences.’

‘You can have a technically sound climate change adaptation project, but if you don’t engage the social sciences in explaining activities to the community then the project will be less effective or could even fail,’ says Dr Webb, who manages SPC’s Oceans and Islands Programme.

‘If you have one group of scientists working to inform a community about something and they leave out another group of scientists with different and relevant expertise, then you don’t get the full picture.’

‘On the other hand, there are good examples of community disaster risk and climate change adaptation projects where the application of technical scientific principles is being combined with social science perspectives to ensure that critical aspects, such as communication and livelihoods, are taken into consideration,’ he says.