Making Urban Sanitation More Inclusive in Papua New Guinea
Among ADB’s 14 DMCs in the Pacific, Papua New Guinea (PNG) ranks lowest in the water and
sanitation access indicators. The Joint Monitoring Program 2017 Update reports a decline in
access to improved sanitation facilities in PNG over the last 15 years, leaving 65% of the
population still using unimproved sanitation facilities.
The capital of Port Moresby alone is home to at least 500,000 residents of which more than 50%
is dispersed in 20 planned settlements and 79 unplanned settlements. Unplanned growth in the
city and other provincial town centers puts pressure on formal utilities and service providers in
meeting the demands for basic urban infrastructure and services, such as water, sanitation,
wastewater, and solid waste.
ADB has been supporting the country with diagnostic and awareness-raising activities on fecal
sludge management (FSM), with the long-term goal of developing an operational framework
within the broader context of inclusive urban sanitation. Currently, the support focuses on FSM
in unplanned settlements and how citywide sanitation service chain components can be
organized by authorities and service providers to improve living conditions, environmental health,
and the dignity of settlement populations.
In this presentation, water and sanitation specialist Karl Galing discussed the new national
WaSH policy and how it provides an opportunity to improve urban and peri-urban sanitation
service delivery performance by integrating an operational FSM framework coupled with policy
and institutional reform and capacity development. Strong links along the service delivery
pathway have to be established as priority plans and investments on urban sanitation are
identified and allocated with adequate budget and human resource capacity.