European Union and the International Organization for Migration Provide Water, Sanitation, and Agricultural Support to 65,000 Drought-hit People in Papua New Guinea

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“The outcome of this support is not only the tangible benefits of a reliable safe water source but also the creation of a safe environment for women and girls to have access to water at their door steps.” Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr, Joe Karap

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PORT MORESBY, 14 June 2016 – The European Union (EU) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched today a clean water supply point in the drought-hit provinces of Papua New Guinea (PNG) as part of their joint programme. The EU-IOM response focuses on provision of clean drinking water, health hygiene promotion, and agriculture recovery support to 65,000 people in Hela, Enga, Jiwaka and Simbu provinces.

The opening ceremony for the water borehole took place at Giraben Sigiri in Jiwaka province, where the EU Ambassador to Papua New Guinea H.E. Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos, the IOM Regional Director for Asia-Pacific Dr. Nenette Motus, and the Jiwaka Provincial Administration authorities inaugurated a borehole that will provide the community with perennial clean and sustainable water.

Local communities also participated in the water-supply launch and highly appreciated the life-saving response from the Government of PNG, the European Union, and IOM. The Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr, Joe Karap, while sharing his thoughts said, “The outcome of this support is not only the tangible benefits of a reliable safe water source but also the creation of a safe environment for women and girls to have access to water at their door steps.”

The EU Ambassador while speaking at the event said “The water pump that we are opening today is 1 of the 15 boreholes foreseen in the project that aims at alleviating one of the main problems caused by the drought: water access. 65,000 individuals affected by El Niño will benefit from this initiative by also receiving 1,000 agricultural kits in addition to training in conservation farming and crop diversification. This relevant action will also pave the way to put in place a long term approach on the agriculture sector that is needed to cope with the effects of future ‘El Niño’s’ and at the same time improve water access and agricultural production”.

Based on the impacts of the programme and to complement the ongoing efforts, the Jiwaka Provincial Administration has committed to provide an electric water pump and large water storage tanks.

“We always put the people at the heart of our response operations and I’m glad to see that these community-driven efforts are gaining great momentum in the affected areas, and I hope this pace will continue until full recovery”, said Nenette Motus, the IOM Regional Director for Asia-Pacific.

The EU-IOM drought response, funded by European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), primarily centers on supply of clean drinking water, participatory health, and hygiene (PHHE) and agricultural recovery in the severely affected areas of the Highlands.

As part of the relief efforts, IOM is drilling 15 boreholes to establish perennial and resilient water sources in a coordinated community focused approach where the drilling of the borehole is complemented by the distribution of water containers, a comprehensive program in participatory health and hygiene promotion utilizing the skills of community health workers, establishing water point committees and the training of voluntary pump minders and water committees.

Under its agriculture capacity building support, IOM has established a cohort of 100 “Master Farmers” in the Highlands. These expert farmers will provide guidance, hands-on support, and technical advice to their respective communities. More than 6,000 Non-food Item (NFI) kits together with 3,000 seed/tool kits have also been distributed in Enga, Jiwaka, and Simbu provinces. All these efforts and services will increase community resilience and food security in the face of any future drought.

The IOM drought response is coordinated through the Government of PNG National Disaster Center and is part of the joint UN relief effort in the country. For more information, please contact Wonesai Sithole at wsithole@iom.int or George Gigauri at ggigauri@iom.int

EU Delegation in Papua New Guinea: Neraemarimahu Haihavu – Press & Information Officer neraemarimahu.haihavu@eeas.europa.eu  Tel: +675 308 2400

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