WaSH strategy workshop discussions

UNICEF led Committee on the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) started a two-day workshop for the advocacy and communication WaSH strategy validation.

The event was held at the Lamana Hotel in Port Moresby on Wednesday 11th March.

This is the second meeting of the committee that hopes to finalise the draft WaSH Strategic Plan 2017-2022.

UNICEF PNG WaSH specialist, Pravin Moore, said there is no better time to emphasise the WaSH strategy than now, especially in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He said the simplest preventive measure that is being talked about this time is ‘handwashing’.

“Is there a better time to emphasise the importance of WaSH than this? Even if there was no COVID-19 scare, our children suffer due to lack of safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene,” Moore stated.

National WaSH coordinator, Takale Tuna, under the National Planning and Monitoring program management unit, thanked the key government departments for their presence, including the EU for funding support and the UNICEF for implementing the project.

He said this workshop is timely in developing the advocacy communication strategy because of the concern of the government regarding the COVID-19 and other factors that the WaSH strategy will complement.

“One is the Medium Term Development Plan 3. We are looking at where we fared and how we’re going to improve as we go forward.

“We had a presentation from the Morobe Provincial government. They talked quite a bit about the healthy islands project, and WaSH is a big part of that.

“Also the Management Information System (MIS) that’s being developed by the department.  Through the work of UNICEF and EU, we are slowly developing the Management Information System starting with the water portal. At this point in time we are presenting about 13 districts of the country,” said Tuna.

He stated this strategy would be able to capture the reality on the ground.

(WaSH validation workshop participants; Photo courtesy of UNICEF Media)

Frieda Kana