The development of sanitation in New Caledonia is a major challenge.
It is estimated that only 30 000 of about 230 000 inhabitants are connected to a wastewater treatment plant which are mainly located in urban areas. The matter of wastewater treatment is even more important as the archipelago is surrounded by a sensitive natural environment (lagoon “World Heritage of UNESCO”), and the local economy is based on a substantial part of economic resources related to the quality of the natural environment through fishing and tourism.
To overcome these difficulties, one of the recommendations made after the Water Conference held 19-23 May, 2008 was the creation of a collegiate body across the territories which would be responsible of the sanitation strategy for all territories. This body would provide technical and financial support to municipalities through the development of an equalization system and mechanisms of solidarity.
This initiative led by the Government member in charge of relations with the municipalities was placed under the guidance of a Steering Committee which requested specific support from IOWater associated SOGREAH-ICEA and IDR for the creation of a Stakeholders’ Organization for Sanitation in New Caledonia (OPANC).
The main concern was to take a turn towards a holistic approach to sanitation infrastructure, tailored to local needs, dimensioned and operated to achieve environmental objectives assigned, and in openness conditions for beneficiaries.
The intervention of the consultant consisted in three major tasks, all cross-implemented at the institutional, legal, technical and financial levels:
1. State of play of the sanitation sector in New Caledonia
2. Diagnosis and formulation of scenarios for the creation of OPANC
3. Operational and financial conclusions - Detailed study of the selected scenario.