3 Jul 2003

Oxfam NZ to help with water problems in Melanesia

4:50 pm on 3 July 2003

The New Zealand branch of the aid agency Oxfam says it hopes it can ease water quality and sanitation problems in the poorer parts of the world, including in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

It has entered an alliance with another New Zealand NGO, Water for Survival, which has specialised knowledge of how to set up water and sanitation projects.

Water for Survival's John La Roche says they have helped more than half a million people around the world so far but has sought Oxfam's backing because demand is now so great.

He says by joining forces both NGOs can increase their effectiveness.

Oxfam's Terri Ann Scorer says in parts of the Pacific the statistics on water quality are very poor.

"For example in Papua New Guinea there is only a quarter of the population that have access to clean, safe water and only a quarter who have access to sanitation. In Solomon Islands there is a third of people who don't have access to clean water and over 80 percent who don't have access to sanitation."

Terri Ann Scorer