Sago Network is a as a not-for-profit, non-government organisation that has been working in Papua New Guinea (PNG) since 2008. Our aim is to save lives in PNG by improving water, sanitation and hygiene standards at a community level. Sago Network partners with local communities in PNG to address basic access to safe drinking water and safe sanitation.
Papua New Guinea's Development Challenges
Papua New Guinea is a country of vast cultural richness and unparalleled diversity but faces significant challenges to lift the standard of basic development for a majority of its 8.4 million people. 87% of PNG’s population live in rural areas largely beyond the reach of government service delivery. Most critical is the development challenge surrounding the lack of access to drinking water and safe sanitation services, fundamental elements of a healthy existence. The need to address these fundamental building blocks for healthy living is revealed by figures which show the extent of the challenge facing PNG's rural communities:
48% of the rural population do not have any access to safe drinking water https://washdata.org/data#!/png
70% of the rural population do not have access to safe sanitation facilities (i.e. safe toilets) https://washdata.org/data#!/png
This lack of access to quality drinking water and safe sanitation facilities results in high levels of illness and disease and hinders other foundational pillars, such as education, that enable healthy flourishing lives.
PNG's coastal communities face the dual challenge of perennially high-water table environments, which limits water supply and sanitation options, and the current drought conditions being experienced across much of the country. Although the need for water and sanitation programmes throughout PNG is significant, the level of commitment that many communities demonstrate to drive their own positive change is both energising and encouraging.
The complex and inter-related development challenges of water and sanitation have been tackled by Sago Network by forming a diverse and multi-disciplinary team which is flexibly configured around the needs of each community based upon their needs. The team includes architects, community development professionals, project managers, engineers, carpenters, plumbers, builders and education professionals. Sago Network views each of these professions as crucial to the delivery of each project and to PNG’s future development.
Sago Network's programmes are focused on partnerships with rural and coastal communities who are committed to effecting positive change in their villages. Each project undertaken by Sago Network aims to place local people at the centre of their own development process. Communities are empowered with the decision-making ability to shape the project's core objectives and are encouraged to make a meaningful contribution toward their achievement. The team values process as highly as product – always seeking to undertake a process that is inclusive and capacity-building in nature.