The development of sanitation is a major challenge in New Caledonia.
Noting that local wastewater treatment, implemented on a sectoral basis, does imperfectly meet the above challenge, the Government has taken the initiative to improve sanitation in towns and villages to ensure true sustainable development in the territories.
The Government requested support from IOWater, SOGREAH-ICEA and IDR for the analysis of different institutional, legal, technical and financial scenarios for the creation of a stakeholders’ organization for sanitation.
Following this study, the creation of a Stakeholders’ Organization for Sanitation in New Caledonia (OPANC) gathering all the local authorities and the State seems to be an appropriate response.
Keeping in line with the "sanitation" responsibilities, which belong to the municipalities, the Government is able to offer them, through the OPANC, a new framework for a multi-year planning of future sanitation facilities, which is made collegially and in partnership.
In this context, the municipalities becoming members of OPANC will make shared efforts, reconciling the interests of local development and respecting a common heritage. This membership will bring together all the institutional stakeholders around a common destiny in sharing the implementation of the country’s public policy.
The study is based on these guidelines and implements realistic proposals widely discussed during regular meetings with the management bodies. A study tour in France, organized by IOWater, has also stimulated discussion on the practices of continental France.
OPANC promotes a progressive integration of sanitation into other public policies (planning, public health, and environment). For this purpose, a long-term strategy has been proposed requiring realistic steps, well defined from a legal, financial and technical viewpoint.