Are these the missing tanks?
THE Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr Tenneth Dalipada, has warned that staff found to have been involved in the missing water tanks would be dealt with “appropriately.”
“What I will be doing would be to investigate this and deal with those that are involve(d). I have dismiss(ed) 5 staff from RWASH when I become PS of this ministry so if there is sufficient evidence that my staff are involve(d) then I will deal with them appropriately,” Dr Dalipada said on the weekend.
He blamed the police for taking too long in dealing with staff involved in similar incidents in the past.
“Where we fail on many occasions is it takes so long for Police to deal with the criminal aspect of those who we dismiss(ed) from the ministry,” Dr Dalipada said.
An investigation by Island Sun has found a large number of rota mould water tanks stored in bushes in Tasahe, West Honiara. These tanks were stored between two houses and resembled the missing 34 rota mould water tanks, which have been on the run from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services since Easter last month.
Our reporter spotted these tanks (pictured) in the bushes of Tasahe, West Honiara yesterday. They were neatly stacked away between two houses, away from the preying eyes of the public – some 400 metres inside the bushes from the Tasahe main road.
If these were the missing water tanks, their wayward journey now seems to have come to an abrupt end, if police step in.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, which is recovering from a $10 million internal scandal, was seeking information on the alleged theft of water tanks. The tanks were valued at nearly $200, 000. They simply vanished from the supplier’s depot at Ranadi in East Honiara.
Insiders said the 34 water tanks of 1, 000 – 2, 000 litres each were bought under the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) Project for rural communities on Guadalcanal and Renbel Provinces.
Twenty-two were destined for Renbel Province while the remaining 12 were for Guadalcanal Province.
The insiders said when RWSS checked with the supplier, it was told someone had already collected the tanks.
The RWSS warehouse at Ranadi said it gave no permission to anyone to collect the tanks.
RWSS director Fred Manu said the matter was under investigation.
“We are looking into it,” Mr Manu said.
The insiders said the water tanks were paid for but it would appear the wrong people picked them from the supplier. A three-ton truck was allegedly used to remove the water tanks from the supplier, between one and two tanks at a time.
At Tasahe, it was said that the water tanks were usually dropped off at the new location at night, also one and two at a time.
According to the sources the 12 water tanks for communities on Guadalcanal were valued at about 90-thousand dollars while those for Renbel communities cost around $153, 000.