The overall objective of the Department is to improve health of rural communities through better access to safe water supply and sanitation facilities. The programme has significant health and socio-economic benefits; reducing drudgery for women and children thereby increasing household productivity and improving quality of life. It is targeted at the rural sector that represents the bulk of the poorer population of Papua New Guinea and therefore has significant impact on reducing poverty. The main focus is on a Community Development (CD) approach to create community ownership and responsibility for maintenance of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) schemes. The programme also provides essential training in health and hygiene, gender awareness, people and technical skills to support the installation and maintenance of the RWSS schemes.