K223m loan for water roll out programs

The PNG Government has signed a K223 million loan ($US70 million) with the World Bank to support the roll out of water supply and sanitation programs and implementing institutions.

Treasury Minister, Patrick Pruaitch, signed the loan agreement today with World Bank PNG Country Manager, Anne Tully, as well as Planning and Monitoring Secretary, Hakaua Harry, and Water PNG Managing Director, Raka Taviri.

PNG Government is also counterpart funding the program with K20 million bringing the total funding to K243 million.

Minister Pruaitch said the signing today was a milestone for both the country and the World Bank and was grateful for the support which he said will support the government’s development plans to improve living standards.

“The world bank loan we are signing today will help the Government implement the National WaSH Policy 2015 to 2030 as well as to address the other priorities and development strategies.

“To effectively develop key priority areas requires careful planning and financial backing and expertise. Hence the government of our country is grateful to our development partners such as the World Bank,” said Pruaitch.

The funding will support the implementation of the National Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) Program through three approaches. They include:

  • Supporting the development of the WaSH Project Management Unit (PMU), sector strategies, plans, management and financing instruments;
  • Supporting the development of District wide WaSH Development Plans, and carry our systematic rural water supply and sanitation (WSS) in the districts; and
  • Support the expansion of WSS services to urban areas through a rolling program of design and investment  support for new provincial and district town water schemes.

World Bank Country Manager, Anne Tully, said this is the first engagement the Bank has had in the water and sanitation sector and they were excited to work with the WaSH PMU and the Department of National  Planning and Water PNG on this very important project.

“The policy has some very ambitious goals and this is just the start to achieving those goals and reflecting the Governments 2050 Vision.

Water PNG will be the implementing agency for the programs and Managing Director, Raka Taviri, says they have already unidentified four sites to begin with a further 10 during the project.

The first four sites include Bialla, Bulolo, Mendi and Vanimo.

“The project is a crucial step towards ensuring every Papua New Guinean has access to a clean water supply and adequate sanitation,” Taviri said.

Also present during the signing was Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele.

Early this month the European Union and PNG Government signed an K570 million funding agreement of which K71.6 million would g towards the WaSH Program.

Cedric Patjole