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Lack of water supply affects more than half SI’s population

Teachers and students of Bishop Koete RTC with officials from ACOM and DFAT. This photo was taken during ACOM and DFAT’s visit to the school last week

ACCESS to water supply is an issue that affects more than half of the country’s population.

Most communities are still depending on wells and traditional water supply on a daily basis for water for cooking, washing and drinking.

Report highlights that few communities in Russell Islands, Savo Island, Isabel, Gela and also few communities on the Guadalcanal Plains are depending on wells and traditional water supply.

Bishop Koete Rural Training Centre in Gela, Central Province is one among the communities that are affected by poor water supply.

The Centre, which accommodates over 150 students and 12 staff, has survived with a traditional water supply – a system ingenuously made out of bamboo pipes to bring water closer to the school.

In an interview with Island Sun, School Chaplain Fr John Vasuni said students and teachers are depending on two water tanks and the water supply as source of water.

But, he said the two systems are not reliable given that the systems fail during rainy and dry seasons.

Fr Vasuni said a solution to Bishop Koete RTC water problem is to establish a bore-hole water system where water can be pumped up from underground and stored on a storage tank before supplying to the main campus.

“I made this suggestion because the only stream close to this school normally dried out when there is a longer dry season.

“In addition, the stream we depend on normally dried out during dry season.

“This, I think the best way is to establish a bore-hole water system, because I believe there is running water beneath this ground,” he explained.

Fr Vasuni continues to say that the issue of water also contributes to poor sanitation.

Nurse in-charge of St Clare mini-hospital also shared similar sentiment.

Speaking to this paper, Mr Dean Siro said water is the biggest challenge that the hospital faces.

He said the existing water supply is not reliable and that the mini-hospital at times locks out their toilets from sick patients due to lack of water.

Mr Siro said St Clare is in dire need of a proper water supply.

Both institutions are expressing their need for assistance from the government as well as donor partners.

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