5 Aug 2010

Pacific leaders told they need to treat water more critically

7:14 pm on 5 August 2010

Pacific leaders have been called to make clean water a core focus of climate change funds, not just an afterthought.

Marc Overmars, from the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission says the Pacific Islands' Forum's priorities of economic development, agriculture, health, land management and climate change are all dependent on the good management of water resources including waste water.

He says concerns about typhoid in Fiji and cholera in Papua New Guinea highlight the need to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in the region and yet Forum leaders have failed to make this a priority.

Mr Overmars says climate change is expected to further impact water resources and the situation needs urgent attention.

Last week the United Nations voted to support access to clean water and sanitation as a fundamental human right.