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World Water Day in PNG - "Safe Water for a Healthy Papua New Guinea"

World Water Day in PNGWorld Water Day in PNG went off with a big splash on Monday 22nd March.  Tony Kuman and his water girls did a fantastic job in organising its launch by a gathering of distinguished people interested in water quality.  The Secretary for the Department of Environment and Conservation, Dr Wari Iamo opened the launch at the Port Moresby Grammar School by explaining  the role the government and his agency played in “Communication Challenges and Opportunities – Safe Water for a Healthy PNG”, this year’s WWD theme.  He detailed the challenges faced by PNG‘s environment and to the provision of safe water, including rapid industrial and agriculture development, high population growth and urbanization, and climate change.  He went on to explain the lead role his agency played in the maintenance of ecosystems and monitoring of water use. [Click "Read more" for full story)

The water supply sector were well represented with the Managing Director of PNG Water Board Mr. Patrick Amini emphasizing the priority need for his sector to provide safe quality water to the communities they serve and of the need to keep up with developments in water treatment technology.  The General Manager of Eda Ranu, the water supplier for Port Moresby, Mr. Billy Imar reiterated these comments and described the activities Eda Ranu undertakes to ensure the Port Moresby community has access to safe quality water.  The acting Head of Delegation of the European Union, Dr Kay Beese detailed the significant funding EU was providing to improve the availability and access to safe drinking water in rural communities.

Support for world water day came from over a dozen major commercial enterprises who made it possible through their generous sponsorship to ensure that the event attracted considerable publicity.  A four page World Water Day supplement was included in Monday 22nd March’s The National newspaper and there was national TV coverage of the event.  The publicity attracted on World Water day resulted in both the national newspapers placing follow up news and editorials relating to global and national water issues.  As the intention of World Water Day is to raise awareness on water and the annual water theme the PNG activities can be seen as a success.

Major water suppliers did use the Day to promote their agencies and paint a rosy picture about their operations.  The Governor of the National Capital District the Hon. Powes Parkop brought a sense of reality to proceedings by reminding the water suppliers that they needed to improve their water service delivery in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.  He urged them to address the quality of their infrastructure and the high levels of water loss.

Marc Wilson, 31 March 2010, Vanuatu
World Water Day in PNG

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