Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby
8.95 million

Like much of the world, Papua New Guinea is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Fewer than 1% of rural households have handwashing facilities with soap and water, so our work has never been more important.

Read more about our COVID-19 response in Papa New Guinea.

See our global response to COVID-19

Marked by mountainous rainforests, Papua New Guinea is known for its rich wildlife, much of which is still undiscovered. Its communities are diverse, with 800 languages spoken. People here lead a self-sufficient way of life.

We have seen big changes since we started work in Papua New Guinea in 2012. The Government is clear about the important role clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene play in improving health, education and livelihoods. And it has a plan to reach people with these essential services.

There is a lot to do. For the poorest people, getting ill or even dying from drinking dirty water is normal. So is not having anywhere safe and private to go to the toilet.

Just staying safe and healthy can be particularly hard for women and people with disabilities; never mind having the opportunity to fulfil their potential and break out of poverty. While service providers recognise the importance of clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, they often lack the expertise and resources to deliver them.

people don't have clean water.

That's over half the population.

people have a decent toilet.

That means over 7 million people go without.

 children under 5 die a year from diarrhoea.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

What does WaterAid do in Papua New Guinea?

Working together with the Government, organisations and communities, we are tackling the challenges that hinder getting clean water and decent toilets to everyone. 

We are building partnerships so that skills and experiences can be shared. We are demonstrating how good hygiene practices can change lives, while respecting diverse cultures. And we are constantly adapting our approach to make clean water and decent toilets a normal part of daily life for everyone.

A healthier start for babies

WaterAid/Tom Greenwood
My baby hasn’t been sick, she is happy.
Leonie Rex, 28 - East Sepik Province

Together with local people we installed 11 tap stands in Musangan Village, East Sepik Province. With a nearby supply of clean water to drink and to wash children with, everyone is happier and healthier.

For a new mother like Leonie, a clean water supply can mean a safer start to her daughter Madison's life. “My baby hasn’t been sick, she is happy,” she says.

The community in Musangan were involved in every stage of planning and building, meaning the villagers feel ownership of the new facilities. Now everybody is confident maintaining the taps and toilets, the whole of Musangan can keep them working properly for good. 

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