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Irrigation and drainage

Evolution of irrigation development

There is no information available on irrigation areas in Vanuatu. Irrigation is only reported in horticulture areas in Port Vila where water is available through the UNELCO water supply system and there is easier access to markets.

Women and irrigation

Women in Vanuatu society are rarely involved in family and community decision making, despite women traditionally managing water, sanitation, family health and childcare. In general women are involved in unpaid tasks and they work, on average, longer hours than men. Women are generally more successful in small businesses and are more reliable borrowers of bank funds. Nevertheless, they are seldom involved in decision-making processes.

Vanuatu is committed to a number of international and regional conventions for the advancement of women and gender equality. The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) obliges Vanuatu to accord rural women equal rights with men to enjoy adequate living conditions including water supply, housing and sanitation. The government has promoted community management of water resources and proposes women’s representation in local water committees with a role in planning and managing the resource (Sullivan and Guglielmi, 2007; DGMWR, 2008).


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