Multi-sector partnership to bring safe toilets to Papua New Guinea’s coastal communities

Asia P3 Hub
Dec 20, 2017 · 4 min read

For the indigenous Motu community living in the unique stilt houses of Hanuabada along the coastline on the outskirts on Papua New Guinea’s capital city Port Moresby, the sea is their home. It’s where they live, play, and catch fish to eat. But it’s also their toilet — raw sewage from more than 12,000 people in the community is discharged directly into the sea from ‘hanging’ toilets in each of the houses that sit on wooden stilts over the water. Children are often seen swimming in the sea water that is full of rubbish and excreta.


The multi-sector partnership between World Vision and WorleyParsons through Asia P3 Hub aimed to bring safe toilets to the coastline community, and improve health and the environment for the people of Hanuabada and the surrounding coastal communities.


World Vision in Papua New Guinea implemented a four year water, sanitation and hygiene project in Hanuabada of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea with financial support from the government of New Zealand. The project aims to impact the lives of 17,950 people (2,500 households) living on the coastline of Port Moresby.

The greatest threat to the Hanuabada community is poor sanitation and hygiene, and the critical sanitation issue is sewage disposal for houses built on stilts. There are no sanitation services for these houses and raw sewage from more than 12,000 people in this community is discharged directly into the estuary from ‘hanging’ toilets in each of the houses. Tidal processes are insufficient to flush out the raw sewage, which settles on the intertidal zone. Adding poor hygiene practices to this scenario leads to significant health impacts. Children are often seen swimming in the sea water that is full of rubbish and excreta, and people still catch fish under the houses to eat.

Children swimming outside of stilt houses in Hanuabada

The Partnership

Asia P3 Hub, World Vision Papua New Guinea (PNG) and WorleyParsons aimed to work together to improve the sanitation situation for the communities living along the coastline of Hanuabada. This collaboration was the fruit of a process of relationship and trust building over the past 18 months. Providing appropriate sanitation solutions for the communities living in coastal stilt houses is challenging due to the coastal environment and lack of existing infrastructure. The need for technical feasibility to develop viable sanitation options was identified by World Vision PNG and Asia P3 Hub. This need is aligned with the engineering expertise provided through the skilled volunteering of WorleyParsons employees with the support of The WorleyParsons Foundation.

WorleyParsons volunteers have offered to conduct a feasibility study on the sanitation in Hanuabada to develop affordable sanitation options suitable for the communities. At the end of the feasibility study, recommendations were provided to World Vision and the government of PNG for suitable sanitation and sewage options. The result could contribute to improving the health of 12,000 people in the long term who currently discharge raw sewage from their hanging toilets into the estuary, as well as a reduction in water-related diseases, especially among children aged under five, and improving environmental sanitation.

Through working together with the local government, the collaboration will enable knowledge transfer between WorleyParsons volunteer engineers and local government officials involved in the project. The recommendations from this study will be considered and implemented by the existing WASH project and may form part of the second phase of the collaboration between World Vision and WorleyParsons.

The Partners

World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. The organisation has a presence in over 95 countries implementing emergency relief, development and advocacy programs.

WorleyParsons is a global engineering firm with a regional Headquarter in Singapore. The firm has a footprint in more than 40 countries worldwide. WorleyParsons delivers projects, provides expertise in engineering, procurement and construction and offers a wide range of consulting and advisory services. They cover the full lifecycle, from creating new assets to sustaining and enhancing operating assets, in the hydrocarbons, mineral and metals, chemicals and infrastructure sectors. Their resources and energy are focused on responding to and meeting the needs of their customers over the long term and thereby creating value for their shareholders. WorleyParsons is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange [ASX: WOR].

How You Can Be Involved

If you have expertise that you can contribute to solving water, sanitation and hygiene challenges in Asia-Pacific region, please get in touch with us at For more information about the partners in this project, refer to the links below:


World Vision Papua New Guinea

Asia P3 Hub

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