PACIFIC MINISTERS ENDORSE MAJOR WATER AGENDA

Caption:Shown is one of the signatories to the Ministerial Forum communiqu? Fiji?s Assistant Minister for Infrastructure, Vijay Nath while (left) the Executive Director of PWWA, LatuKupa and its Chairman, OpetaiaRavai look on. Photo: SUPPLIED.

SEPTEMBER 26,?2015. In one of the most far-reaching communiqu?s on water issues in the Pacific, Government Ministers from Pacific Island countries meeting at their inaugural Ministerial Forum in Papua New Guinea have committed to an agenda designed to significantly strengthen Pacific Water and Waste Water?s (PWWA) role in the Pacific ?that will lead to stronger regional water outcomes? according to the communiqu?.

The Forum was part of the 8th Annual Pacific Water and Waste Water Conference held recently that included representatives of the *20 Pacific island government water utilities that operate 26 facilities that comprise the membership of PWWA.

?We are aware that PWWA has been evolving over the years from a loosely knit association that had limited expectations to the Pacific?s leading professional water body. It is through this Conference and the Ministers? endorsement that has reinforced our role,? said PWWA Chairman Opetaia Ravai.

He said that the seven-point communiqu?, the outcome of the Ministers Forum, was a document of immense importance for the future of Pacific water.

Some of the key points of the Ministers commitment in the communiqu?:
? Provide strong leadership and champion the Pacific Water Agenda by bringing water and sanitation challenges faced by Pacific Water and Wastewater Utilities into prominence at the regional and national levels.

? Support the application of PWWA for CROP (The Council of Regional Organisations) in the Pacific membership under the Pacific Islands Forum to become the ?voice? of Pacific water.

? Meet annually as a Ministerial Water Forum in the Pacific region to focus on water developments and advancements on dealing with critical issues.

? Support PWWA in its efforts to continue growing as the Pacific?s leading professional water body and strengthen its capacity to support its members to strive to best industry practice and deliver regional programmes, such as benchmarking, water operator?s partnerships and other advocacy activities.

Mr. Opetaia said that PWWA would continue its efforts, buoyed by the Ministers communiqu?, to mitigate against climate change as well as work towards delivering sustainable, affordable and accessible water and sanitation services to all.

*The 20 Pacific Island countries that comprise PWWA membership are: American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Saipan, Marshall Island, Papua New Guinea, Tokelau, Guam, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji, Kiribati, Northern Mariana Islands and New Caledonia.

PACIFIC REACH LTD