BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOLOMON Islands is significantly off track in the race to address Goal-Six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a report shows.
United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Country Manager Ms Azusa Kubota said Solomon Islands is running behind the SGD Goal six.
Recently, the National Water and Climate Change forum highlighted that communities and urban dwellers still lack insufficient access to safe water resources and sanitation.
Under Goal Six, target one and two, country joined global community to campaign for clean water, hygiene and proper sanitation by 2030.
Solomon Islands Government as part of global community had established a National Development Strategy 2016—2035.
It has been three years since the world committed itself to achieving the SDGs, with 12 years to live up to these commitments.
However, following the progress of the commitments, UNDP Country Manager, Solomon Islands Ms Asuza Kubota said here in Solomon Islands, they see that both SDG 6 targets one and two are significantly off track.
“This means that, at the current rate of progress, they will not be achieved by 2030. Climate change further threatens to undermine progress.
“Sadly, the world is not on track to achieve the global SDG 6 targets by 2030 at the current rate of progress. The time to act on SDG 6 is now.”
With water scarcity in the country Ms Kubota said Country’s NDS identifies water and sanitation as a top priority for Solomon Islands to ensure nation access to clean water and sanitation by 2030.
On global scale, Kubota said 844 million people around the world still lack basic water service.
She adds, speaking of inequality, only 62 per cent of people in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have access to a basic drinking water service, while the global average is 89 percent.
Only 27 per cent of the population in LDCs has a basic hand washing facility at home, Ms Kubota said.
Acting Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Dr Melchior Mataki said Country’s NDS 2016-2030 prioritise four key areas such as water and sanitation and improving livelihoods of Solomon Islands’ people.
The National Water Resources and Sanitation policy build on that aim, Mataki said.
Meanwhile, a report stated population at national level accessing a basic water service goes back between 2000 and 2015.
Alarmingly, Solomon Islands had the largest regression globally for that period, averaging more than one percent decline per year (JMP, 2017).
In 2015, only 35 percent of country’s population were using an improved water supply which was “available when needed”, a decrease from 44 percent in 2000 (JMP 2017).
When considering rural populations, the decline has been worse, declining 19 percent from 68 percent to 49 percent, it said.
United Nation report shows, currently more than 2 billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources.
By 2050, it is estimated at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.
Drought in specific afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries, worsening hunger and malnutrition.
Fortunately, there has been great progress made in the past decade regarding drinking sources and sanitation, whereby over 90 percent of the world’s population now has access to improved sources of drinking water.
To improve sanitation and access to drinking water, there needs to be increased investment in management of freshwater ecosystems and sanitation facilities on a local level.
It is to basically setting lens to several developing countries such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia and South-Eastern Asia.