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people in Papua New Guinea don't have access to safe water. This is three fifths of the population.

Over 5.6 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Papua New Guinea, over half of the population.

Over 900 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea in the Pacific region is one of the most culturally diverse countries on the planet, but it is also one of the poorest. More than half the population lacks access to a safe water source or basic toilet.

The crisis

Access to clean drinking water and sanitation is an issue for over half of Papua New Guinea's population, many of whom live in remote, rural locations that are hard to reach with essential services.

There is low access to education in rural areas, and a widespread lack of understanding about the importance of toilets and basic hygiene practices to health. Diarrhoeal diseases are common.

The annual monsoon season is often followed by periods of drought, so seasonal water shortages are commonplace. Periodically the country also suffers from severe droughts caused by the El Niño effect, the last one being in 1998.

Our approach

In Papua New Guinea we work with local partner organisations to provide essential water and sanitation services using simple, low-cost technologies.

We work with schools to ensure students and teachers have water points and basic toilets, allowing them to focus on their school work. We also promote the need for hand-washing and good menstrual hygiene practices.

We use films and radio programmes to spread awareness of the difference that safe water, good hygiene and sanitation can make, and we call upon the country's decision-makers to prioritise these basic human rights.

In Papua New Guinea last year we reached:

  • 2,900 people with safe water
  • 7,179 people with improved sanitation.