Vanuatu Marks World Water Day With Waste Water Awareness

Minister says country not doing enough to regulate waste water

By Anita Roberts

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, March 23, 2017) – People in Vanuatu need more awareness on how to use waste water as a resource than a waste product.

The Minister of Lands and Water Resources, Ralph Regenvanu, stated this when emphasizing the theme of yesterday’s World Water Day in Port Vila.

The theme was ‘waste water’.

Minister Regenvanu said: “People need to be educated about ways of re-using wastewater.

“For example, they need to be made known that the water use for washing or bathing can be reclaimed, which means treated and reuse for other beneficial purposes like irrigation in agriculture.

“A lot of focus must be placed on re-using water as much as possible.”

The government, through the Department of Environment, is not doing enough to regulate waste water, Regenvanu stressed.

The departments dealing with water must work together through legislation to improve wastewater treatment and safely use it, he added.

The United Nations had chosen ‘waste water’ as this year’s World Water Day theme to focus on ways to reduce and reuse wastewater as 80% of all wastewater from homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being reused or treated polluting the environment.

The day called for an improved collection and treatment of wastewater.

According to Minister Regenvanu, water is considered a renewable resource and the essential building block of life which has to be protected.

School children were part of the march to launch yesterday’s event including non-government organizations in water sector.

Vanuatu begun commemorating World Water Day in 1993.

The day is about taking action to tackle water crisis.

Following booth displays and a public discussion on new water acts in the afternoon, the minister and staff went to plant trees at Tagabe Protection Zone, the area of Port Vila’s sole water source.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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