Chairman's 2023 World Water Day Message

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Chairman Amb Aiwa Olmi
Chairman Amb Aiwa Olmi

 Water PNG as a Merged Entity

The Government in its wisdom merged PNG’S two major water utilities, Water PNG and Eda Ranu to better coordinate and drive the WaSH roll out throughout the country. As a merged entity, Water PNG’s has placed an emphasis on transformation, innovation, and growth, driven by our Purpose, Vision, and Mission Statements – providing safe water supply & sanitation services to boost the quality of life and aid the socio-economic development of PNG.

The knowledge attained from merging both entities has pushed us to a whole new level. We are confident that we have put people in their right roles – Board & Management included, to deliver on our mandate. We also have key strategic objectives in place which direct resources toward providing quality water & sanitation services.

Government’s WaSH Policy

The Government's WaSH policy plans to give equitable access to safe & sustainable water supply & sanitation services while promoting improved hygiene practices & long-term behavioral change at all levels – particularly in under-served rural/urban settlements. As a State implementing agency, Water

PNG has made it a duty to meet 2030 targets set by WaSH Policy – including providing water supply & sanitation systems for 30 more towns.

Water PNG’s Expected Outcomes by 2030.

  • In rural areas, it is expected that 70% of the population has access to a safe, convenient and sustainable water supply
  • In urban areas, it is expected that 95% of the population should have access to a safe, convenient, and sustainable water supply.
  • In urban areas, it is expected that 85% of the population should have access to safe, convenient, and sustainable sanitation facilities.
  • In rural areas, it is expected that 70% of the population has access to safe, convenient and sustainable sanitation facilities.

Our Achievements

As part of this mission, Water PNG currently provides services to 15 Provincial Towns and 9 District Centers. We have also experienced growth in production, connections, and coverage of service. Our plant availability (capacity level) is maintained consistently at above 95%, operating at the optimum level.

As more developments take place in the main centers, Water PNG has taken it upon itself to invest in water projects that ensure those residing in residential areas as well as settlements have access to safe and clean drinking water. The success of these projects is dependent on all national stakeholders playing their part and ensuring that those living in both residential areas, urban peripheries and settlements have equal access to our services.

In order to achieve this, Water PNG have set up the Water Committee System within the settlements. Residents come together and form this committee, acting as a link between themselves and Water PNG; collecting bill payments, maintaining water pipe/connections, and suggesting further meter installations.

Our Plans

Despite these successes, there remains a demand gap due to population growth and business activities within cities like Port Moresby/Lae/Mt Hagen where planning and investments for infrastructure haven't been sufficient to upgrade existing systems capacity levels.

To address this issue; we are considering investment a mix of funding models internal funding, donor support modality from World Bank/EU/DFAT/ADB, and Public Private Partnership (PPP), while also working on incorporating interests of water resource owners through National Content Policy Agenda.

These are in partnership with Kumul Consolidated Holdings.

• ADB SOE Reforms

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) through our Shareholder, Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) has contributed significantly in both technical and financial assistance to implement the SOE Reform Program in PNG. Water PNG has been one of the main SOEs to receive direct project funding support from KCH from the proceeds of an ADBPolicy loan to build an additional clarifier to expand the capacity of the Mt. Eriama treatment plant that supplies the city of Port Moresby and the construction of a brand new reticulated water supply system for the Tari Township in Hela Province.

• Development (Donor) Support Modality

Water PNG has set an ambitious target to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene standards in PNG by 2030. In urban areas, the target is for 95% of the population to have access to water supply and 85% to have access to sanitation facilities. To help reach these goals, WaSH programs are being funded by various bilateral and multilateral partners including the World Bank, EU, DFAT, and ADB with the aim of aligning financing across projects that contribute towards achieving the ambitious WaSH targets.

Water PNG is a key player in implementing various WaSH projects in the country.

• Public Private Partnership (PPP) Modality

Developing large-scale projects requires a substantial amount of capital and a dependable source to secure it. Private funding can be sourced through PPP project delivery models such as Build- Operate-Transfer (BOT), Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT), Build-Lease-Operate (BLO) and Vendor Financing methods. New Water and Sewerage Treatment Plants in Port Moresby, Lae, and Hagen will be delivered using these procurement arrangements.

The Importance of Water Security

As Chairman of Water PNG, on World Water Day, I would like to draw attention to the importance of water security.

The UN's call to action - 'Be the change you want to see in this world' - serves as a reminder for us Papua New Guineans to value water and take action in conserving, managing, and using it properly in our homes, communities, and villages.

We need to be conscious in our human activities and respect our environment, especially our trees; they play an important role in collecting and filtering water during rain. When they are cut down, it reduces the amount of water available during dry seasons thus affecting precipitation negatively.

Let us make a conscious effort to plant trees and practice reforestation, while also avoiding cutting down trees near rivers and other water sources.

Environmentally sustainable practices need to be incorporated into the way we do things so that natural waterways are preserved and contamination is prevented.

Papua New Guinea is blessed with abundant of Natural Resources.

We have many rivers, creeks, lakes; swamps, which are the greatest assets for us, use it responsibly.

To ensure the proper use of water, we must legally connect our homes to the Water PNG network. We need to refrain from making any unlawful connections; illegal connections carry a penalty of up to K10,000.00.

We should strive to reduce water wastage by not leaving taps running for extended periods. Instead of using open hoses for car washes and laundry, use buckets or containers. Let's all do our part to conserve water. Water is LIFE and it must be protected.

Let us be responsible and conservative water users today!

Happy World Water Day celebration

Amb. Aiwa Olmi,
OL Chairman of Water PNG