Map Cook Islands Federated Sates of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Nauru Niue Papua New Guinea Republic of Marshall Islands Republic of Palau Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu
Land Area
Water resource
Water consumption
Country Cook Islands Cook Islands
Population 21,750 (July 2007 est.)
Land Area 236.7 km2
Water resource
Water consumption
Country Federated Sates of Micronesia Federated Sates of Micronesia
Population 107,862 (July 2007 est.)
Land Area 702 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: 4,928 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Fiji Fiji
Population 918 675 (July 2007 est.)
Land Area 18,270 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: 2000 - 3000 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Kiribati Kiribati
Population 107,817 (July 2007 est.)
Land Area 811 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: South of the equator: 1,300 mm Tarawa: 2,000 mm Northernmost islands: over 3,200mm Eastern Line Islands: less than 1,000 mm
Water consumption
Country Nauru Nauru
Population 11,528 (July 2007 est.)
Land Area 21 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: 2,090 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Niue Niue
Population 1,625m(GoN statistics 2006)
Land Area 260 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: 2,180 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea
Population 5,795,887 (July 2007 est.)
Land Area 462,840 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall:1000-80000 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Republic of Marshall Islands Republic of Marshall Islands
Population 20,842
Land Area 458 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: 3,700 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Republic of Palau Republic of Palau
Population 61,815(July 2007 est.)
Land Area 11,854.3 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: Southern attols: 4,000mm Northern attols:2,000 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Samoa Samoa
Population 214,265
Land Area 2,944 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: 3,000 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Solomon Islands Solomon Islands
Population 566,842
Land Area 28,450 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall:1500-5000 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Tonga Tonga
Population 116,921
Land Area 748 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: Varies from north and south of tonga with an estimated average of 2500 mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Tuvalu Tuvalu
Population 11.992 (July 2007 est.)
Land Area 26 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: 3000mm per annum
Water consumption
Country Vanuatu Vanuatu
Population 211,971 (July 2007 est.)
Land Area 12,200 km2
Water resource Avg Rainfall: 2000 - 4000 mm per annum
Water consumption
Key Message
Project Title
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Donor Agency
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Milestone report on “Sanitation, Drinking water and Health in Pacific Island countries” reveals troubling information

A regional report entitled “Sanitation, Drinking-water and Health in Pacific Island Countries: 2015 update and future outlook” has found that almost 70% of people living in the Pacific are without access to improved sanitation, and almost 50% lack access to improved drinking water supplies.

Heads of agencies were quick to share their sentiments when the report was launched.  Dr Liu Yunguo, WHO Representative for the South Pacific based in Suva said “We are very pleased to launch this milestone report in collaboration with other UN agencies and the Pacific Community.”

“The report is a highly significant contribution to guide the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation in the Pacific,” said Dr Karen Allen, UNICEF Pacific Representative.

“The report sheds light on the unique and challenging situation facing many Pacific people who don’t have access to safe water and sanitation which hadn’t been thoroughly analysed or discussed in global reports on the Millennium Development Goals,” said Dr Colin Tukuitonga, Director-General of the Pacific Community.

“The report takes an unprecedented approach. Where possible it provides disaggregated analysis of urban and rural access to Water and Sanitation; it further highlights the challenge of providing such services in urban informal settlements and peri-urban areas” said Mr. Yoshinobu Fukasawa, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UN-Habitat.

This report reviews the status and challenges of sanitation, drinking water and hygiene in Pacific Island countries. Data in the report shows a not-so-positive outlook on the situation and trends of water and sanitation in the Pacific. Mr Jose Hueb, the lead author of the report and WHO consultant said “Improvements in WASH were observed in the urban areas, leaving rural areas behind. The gaps between the urban and rural areas are even greater in 2015 than in 1990.”

The report also notes that the Pacific region’s MDG sanitation access target of 65% and drinking water access target of 73% by 2015 were not reached. Regional sanitation coverage was only 31% in 2015, while the drinking water target was only 53%.

As 2015 was the final year of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this report is considered a milestone publication providing benchmarks  and a situation overview for WASH, and setting the scene for future development of water and sanitation in the Pacific island countries.   

Ms Rhonda Robinson, Water and Sanitation Programme  Deputy Director of the Pacific Community stressed, “While all Pacific island countries are working to provide their citizens with access to safe water and sanitation, these efforts are in general not keeping pace with population growth.

The report also addresses the challenges of water security and safety as a critical sustainable development issue for Pacific island countries. The impacts of climate change on the quantity and quality of water resources have profound implications for lives and livelihoods, economic growth, public health, the environment and human rights in the small island states.

“This report indicates a huge challenge ahead of us in providing support to the Pacific in achieving the targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals for universal access to improved drinking-water and sanitation facilities. These new targets will be achievable only with a radical recalibration of efforts by the Pacific and development partners, particularly in the light of projected population increases and climate change impacts in the coming years,” said Dr Rokho Kim, Environmental Specialist of WHO South Pacific who coordinated with the team as managing editor. Mr Marc Overmars, UNICEF Pacific WASH Coordinator elaborated further when he said “Climate change is a defining challenge of our time and could prove to be the most significant human health threat of the 21st century. Coordinated efforts of many different sectors are urgently needed to build water security and health resilience to climate change in the Pacific.”

This is the first time that three UN agencies (UNICEF, WHO and United Nations Human Settlements Programme) and SPC have produced a joint report on water and sanitation in the Pacific. A total of 14 Pacific Island Countries were studied: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

About UN-Habitat
UN-Habitat promotes sustainable urbanization and housing for all. Working with national and local governments in the Region, UN-Habitat has been supporting Pacific Urban Forums since 2004, implements climate resilience, urban planning and informal settlements upgrading projects. Sustainable access to improved Water and Sanitation is a fundamental human right that is fully integrated in these programmes. For more information about UN-Habitat and our work in the Pacific region visit:

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and our work in the Pacific visit:

About WHO
WHO acts as the health conscience of the Region; we operate semi-autonomously with our own regional budget. Our role is to act as a catalyst and advocate for action at all levels, from local to global, on health issues of public concern. Working together with a broad spectrum of partners from all sectors of society, WHO in the Western Pacific is involved in a host of closely related public health activities, including research, databanking, evaluation, awareness raising and resource mobilization. Our purpose is to lead the regional response to public health issues on all fronts - medical, technical, socio-economic, cultural, legal and political - towards the achievement of WHO's global health mission. WHO's mission is to support all countries and peoples in their quest to achieve the highest attainable level of health, defined in the WHO Constitution as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

About the Pacific Community
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. We work for the well-being of Pacific people through the effective and innovative application of science and knowledge, guided by a deep understanding of Pacific Island contexts and cultures. See

For further information, please contact:

Rokho Kim, Environmental Health Specialist, WHO South Pacific Office
Marc Overmars, WASH Coordinator, UNICEF for the Pacific
Rhonda Robinson, Deputy Director WASH, Pacific Community
Bernhard Barth, Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

The report can be downloaded at: