BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
ALARMING rate of water shortage across the country has forced authorities to produce a national water resources and sanitation policy to address this matter.
Speaking at the launch of the policy last week, Minister of Mines and Energy Mr Bradley Tovosia said the increasing plea for clean and safe water is evident across the country hence responsible authorities have liaised in compiling the policy to deal with the issue.
Tovosia said the government also recognises sustainable and reliable water supply and appropriate sanitation systems as the foundation to providing enabling environment to stimulate economic growth in the rural areas.
He said in response to this anxiety the government and its partners have created a policy with some important key objectives to handle the matter.
The set objectives include providing leadership in this essential sector and developing opportunities to health and wellbeing of Solomon Islanders.
Also safeguarding water sources and its receiving environment, answerable to widespread rural and urban settlers who have the need to access safe, adequacy and reliability water and sanitation services, identifying areas and issues which require government interventions, providing plans on how to adapt to global change including climate change, providing monitoring policy and fulfilling the countries intentional and regional duties in the sector.
United Nation Country Manager Azusa Kubota congratulated the government for the launch of Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) policy.
Kubota said this is an inclusive approach to the water and sanitation issue in both urban and rural settings across Solomon Islands.
She said this is because it has goes beyond the norm by covering water resource management issues at taking a whole of the government and multi-partnership approach.
“It is perhaps one of the most progressive policies — probably the first of its kind in the region,” said Kubota.
The launching event of the policy was held last week at the country’s capital, Honiara.