14 Nov 2011

PNG call for urgent new water legislation

5:28 am on 14 November 2011

Papua New Guinea's Health Ministry is calling for urgent new water legislation as the country struggles to make progress with sanitation, which threatens its Millennium Development Goals.

The Acting Secretary for Health, Pascoe Kase, says the water problem is tricky because the Ministry has no mandate to look after water, which is managed by various local agencies.

But he says when there's a water challenge, authorities look to the Ministry for help.

He says more clarity and focus are needed.

"Challenges in water and sanitation in Papua New Guinea is an urgent matter. Urgency will be required now by our Government to have a water policy in place. We are hoping to do that before this parliament rises. So we would want to get that probably the first quarter of next year."

Pascoe Kase says a lot of information has been collected already so stakeholders now need to have their say in putting the new water policy together.