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Papua New Guinea

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The One Netball Program in PNG uses the sport to encourage young people to practice improved hygiene behaviours / Credit: Netball PNG

Shooting hygiene goals through netball

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) continues to present as a primary public health challenge in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Only 37 per cent of the population has access to at least a basic drinking water supply, with 48 per cent of the rural population still relying on surface water. COVID-19 has amplified the need for WASH strategies and education for rural PNG communities, particularly within the primary education sector.

The One Netball PNG program sees the continued partnership between Netball Australia, WaterAid, and Netball PNG to use netball as a vehicle towards achieving positive WASH outcomes within PNG communities.

Within the One Netball PNG program, two underpinning WASH programs will be adapted to optimise delivery for each community in the most sustainable manner – the full-length Hamamas Lo Pilai (HLP) program and the shorter Come and Play program. Both programs have evolved from the original and proven HLP program developed by WaterAid since 2018 and will engage adolescent girls and boys between the ages of 10 and 15 on topics related to self-confidence, communication, leadership, personal hygiene and menstrual health through netball and play-based life skills activities.

The flexibility of the resource allows Netball PNG to deliver key messaging relevant to age groups, such as menstrual hygiene management. While the program is predominantly targeted at adolescent girls, boys will be encouraged to participate in the program and WASH topics will be tailored exclusively for each group. For example, the menstrual health management components will be delivered to girls only within a private and safe space, while boys will receive other WASH education during the same session.

Addressing the lack of equitable access to water supply and sanitation through One Netball PNG will contribute to making a profound difference to the lives of PNG women across their physical and emotional health, participation at school, work and in the community. 


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