Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea stand to benefit more from their diplomatic ties with the United States of America in terms of water resource management.
A group of international foreign journalists currently embarking on a foreign press tour in the Unites States of America have been told.
SIBC’s Rickson Jordan Bau reports from Washinton DC, in a background briefing held at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), office of Conservation and Water in Washington, DC, the reporters learned about a number of U.S. foreign policy approaches to conserving water and sustainably managing the world’s ecologically and economically important ecosystems.
Mr. Rickson said, Spokeswoman for the Bureau, Carol Lyn MacCurdy told the journalists, the U.S. Government is working with its partners and interested stakeholders through what is called the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy that was established in 2017.
Ms. Carol explains, there are four key priorities to achieve this goal around the world and they include the access to safe water and sanitation and hygiene, water resources management, corporation on shared waters around the world and governance and financing issues.
The strategy that runs through 2021 is being implemented in at least twelve countries including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Uganda.
Meanwhile, with frequent water cuts currently experienced in, Honiara and water quality issues posing greater health risks for Honiara dwellers, tapping into water initiatives through diplomatic relations are on the table.
With Water Smart Exchanges a fairly new cooperative program with countries in the South East Asian region, Ms. Carol said this aims at creating a sister utilities or sister cities program by pairing cities in the United States with those in the ASEAN region that have similar water problems by sharing knowledge about water governance practices, business practices, technologies in terms of water management and governance.
SIBC News understands, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is also doing similar work through project grants in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
While there is recognition of the public-private partnership phenomenon, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea governments have a high chance of fully utilizing their existing diplomatic ties with the United States through this vehicle to advance their water management capabilities going forward.
A total of 15 senior journalists from various countries around the world are part of the ten days tour to three States in the United States.