March 19, 2014

Bringing Clean Water and Improved Sanitation to Remote Villages (Sisters of Mercy of Australia & PNG)

In Papua New Guinea only 40% of the population have sustainable access to improved drinking water sources and only 45% have access to improved sanitation.


The Western Province is huge, the biggest in PNG. It covers an area larger than 97,000 kms² in the south west of PNG. In the North Fly District the most intensely populated and developed district in the Province, Mercy Works Kiunga, in partnership with the Diocese Daru-Kiunga and other local partner groups, supports a range of community development projects. These include: village health, women’s leadership, education and development and self-reliance and capacity building.

Village toilet funded by Mercy Works

West Papuan Refugees have been living in villages and settlements along the Fly River on the border of PNG and the Indonesian Province of West Papua for more than 30 years. In May 2012 one of the most devastating floods on record occurred. Many homes in Kiunga were affected but it was the remote villages along the Fly River that suffered most.

Mercy Works responded quickly to a request from Maureen Sexton rsm, Mercy Works Coordinator in Kiunga and emergency funds were made available. When villages returned to their homes they discovered their water tanks had been dislodged, their homes were full of silt and their food gardens completely inundated. Almost two years on Mercy Works Kiunga Village Health Project is assisting these villages install new water tanks and more hygienic toilets.

Messages to:
Margaret Coulter - Mercy Works
Maureen Sexton rsm -Mercy Works Coordinator in Kiunga

'Water and Sanitation is one of the primary drivers of public health. I often refer to it as “Health 101”, which means that once we can secure access to clean water and to adequate sanitation facilities for all people, irrespective of the difference in their living conditions, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won.'
Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General, World Health Organization.

Image thumbnail: Water tank funded by Mercy Works

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