PACNEWS (PACIFIC ISLAND NEWS SERVICE)
DIRTY DRINKING WATER in Papua New Guinea is killing 60 people every week, data from Oxfam New Zealand shows.
Oxfam plans to build taps and send water and sanitation experts to PNG's highlands to tackle the problem.
Oxfam NZ chief Barry Coates told Radio Australia the young and the old are the most common victims of dirty drinking water.
The incidence of diarrhoea really affects children under five-years-old, he said.
And it's one of the reasons why there are very high death rates of children under five years old in PNG.
Coates said long term planning is needed to reduce such deaths.
“Often it is a lack of funding, and particularly I think a lack of commitment for ongoing donors and governments to work in ways that are going to do things systematically over the long term, rather than be one off changes,” he said.
“What we have seen is a lot of initiatives that have started over the years in the Pacific but often not carried through to provide good water and sanitation.”