MEDIA RELEASE

Investment in WaSH should be prioritised in light of COVID-19

The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has shone light on the importance of foundational measures of disease control. Integral to this is frequent handwashing and good hygience practice but it requires sufficient access to clean water supply and proper sanitation facilities. Therefore, investment in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) should be prioritised to ensure healthy livelihood and sustainable progress amid the challenges inflicted by the pandemic at this time.

In Papua New Guinea (PNG), access to improved water supply and sanitation for majority of people in urban and rural areas has been a long-standing isssue. The impact of such poor access to critical WaSH services on public health is very alarming. This does expose many people to ominous risk of COVID-19.

The Spotlight article: Investing in water, sanitation and hygience in Papua New Guinea: Call for renewed focus and priority Volume 14, Issue 18 by PNG National Research Institute Research Fellow, Mr. Ronald Sofe, highlights that investments in WaSH services are important for improving health, environmental, and socio-economic outcomes for individuals and communities. It calls for renewed focus from all stakeholders and levels of government to embrace innovative interventions that would facilitate improvement in delivery of water supply, safe sanitation facilities and decent hygiene practices.

“There is an urgent need to develop a comprehensive investment plan for rehabilitation of existing infrastructure to boost capacity for the delivery of WaSH services throughout the country”, said Mr Sofe.

The Publication and Media Release can be accessed on the PNG NRI website https://www.pngnri.org.

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Authorised for release by:

Dr. Osborne Sanida
PNG NRI Acting Director

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