The proposed Port Vila Urban Development Project (PUDP) will improve drainage, roads and sanitation systems in greater Port Vila (municipality and adjacent urban and peri-urban areas in the Shefa province). The Project will implement the recommendations of the drainage and sanitation master plan prepared through a project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) which identified priority interventions for improved access to, and delivery of drainage and sanitation services to the residents of Port Vila. It will support affordable, sustainable, and effective sanitation, roads and storm water drainage services, and contribute to climate resilient and sustainable urban development in and around Port Vila.
The project will address the following key issues:
(i) Link between sanitation and drainage and road development. It is critical to coordinate and integrate the design and implementation of the drainage and sanitation project within the long-term priorities for urban infrastructure development in and around Port Vila, particularly with the development plans for the road sector.
(ii) Poor coordination in the delivery of services and weak capacity of institutions. The responsibilities of relevant agencies involved in urban development are not clearly delineated. Coordination among these agencies is poor, and concerned agencies have limited capacity in urban planning and lack human resources. A dearth of skills, resources, and performance incentives makes it difficult to provide high-quality public services.
(iii) Role of hygiene as an integral part of improved sanitation. As the sanitation master plan emphasizes the role of hygiene in the improvement of public health, complementary sanitation and hygiene promotion will be implemented alongside investment in infrastructure and facilities. This includes adequate drainage within communities, as a part of hygiene and public health and training and awareness programs.
(iv) Gender mainstreaming and universal access to basic services. Approaches and methodology will be developed for hygiene and health education and awareness activities, to ensure active involvement of the youth and women in the peri-urban, informal and rural settlements. Existing and newly created women groups will be made part of the management and maintenance of the community hygiene facilities. The pros and cons of adopting local employment generation as part of the project strategy during the design and preparation of the investment project will also be identified.
(v) Operations and Maintenance (O&M) and sustainability of drainage and sanitation services. The sustainability of drainage, roads and sanitation services is heavily dependent upon appropriate institutional arrangements for O&M, including debt servicing and cost recovery. The project envisaged that cost recovery will be achieved by increasing property taxes or other direct charges such as user fees or levies. It is anticipated that the O&M services will be outsourced to private service providers, supervised by the Government.
(vi) Mitigating adverse environmental impacts and adapting to climate change. These can be achieved by emphasizing in the project design appropriate investment in climate proofing to ensure a sustainable and climate resilient urban development in Port Vila.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Port Vila, with approximately 44,000 residents, is the largest population center, main commercial center and the seat of government in Vanuatu. It has already expanded beyond its originally defined urban boundaries due to rapid economic development, rural-urban migration, and the proliferation of informal settlements. The estimated population of the resulting 'Greater Port Vila' area in 2009 was 58,000 residents. By 2025, this figure will reach 109,000. This does not take into account the growing number of tourists that visit Port Vila and/or transit through the city to different tourism destinations in the country. The tourism sector is the lifeline of the national economy. Urban development and quality of urban services in Port Vila have significant implications for economic growth and overall development of Vanuatu. Despite efforts by the government to build the necessary infrastructure, i.e., telecommunication, and water supply, significant inadequacies continue to exist particularly in drainage, roads, sanitation, and hygiene services. The poor conditions of these services are adversely affecting public health, economic activities, and the overall quality of life of Port Vila residents and visitors.
Vanuatu is also extremely vulnerable to natural disasters due to it its geographical location in the ring of fire and the cyclone belt of the Pacific. It is at risk from a wide range of climate-related hazards including coastal erosion, tropical cyclones, floods, landslides, and drought, which are expected to increase in severity and frequency as a result of climate change, warranting emphasis on climate proofing of infrastructure, policy and institutional capacity building for disaster risk management, and improving climate resiliency.
The government has a Priorities and Action Agenda (PAA) 2006-2015 and a medium-term action program, entitled Planning Long, Acting Short Action Program . It prioritizes a set of short- and medium-term development initiatives. Sustainable urban development through improved access to basic services such as sanitation and drainage facilities and urban infrastructure is an important priority for the government. This has been identified among the three core sectors for support under the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Country Partnership Strategy for Vanuatu (CPS) 2010-2014. The CPS also places emphasis on long-term support for country systems and capacities in core areas such as rural and urban infrastructure. In partnership with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), ADB, through the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility (PRIF), is expected to assist the government to improve urban infrastructure and services in Port Vila and its peri-urban areas. AusAID's Governance for Growth (GfG) initiative is providing a wide range of support to the urban transport sector in Port Vila and other parts of the country. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is supporting capacity building and selected interventions in waste management and monitoring. The New Zealand Aid Program is working in partnership with ADB to improve interisland shipping services with significant link to urban development.