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Water risk for public

Ministerial houses may have to be dismantled to avoid potential contamination of Panatina bore hole


These houses belong to the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation. They are being denied water because they are located directly above the bore hole that supplies water to large areas of lower and upper Panatina Ridge

RESIDENTIAL houses built directly above a bore hole that supplies fresh water to a large area along the upper and lower Panatina Ridge may be forced to relocate because of fears of potential contamination, it was revealed yesterday.

These include six executive houses costing millions of dollars, built for the staff of the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation. Four of these were completed late last year, but to date only two are occupied due to lack of water.

The additional two houses are yet to be built.

Solomon Islands Water Authority’s (SIWA) has reportedly denied connecting water to the houses because of fears waste water from these and other houses had the potential of flowing into and contaminating the bore hole directly below.

Island Sun was told yesterday the issue was not a new one, as both the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey and the Honiara City Council are fully aware of the situation.

But how building permits were granted for the construction of these houses remains a mystery.

“The issue is not the houses. The issue is contamination of the bore hole below,” one official made clear to the Island Sun yesterday.

Water from the bore hole is fed into the distributor water tanks on the ridge, which in turn distributes the fresh water to large residential and business areas in the lower and upper Panatina Ridge.

These areas include the Home Finance’s housing estate at Baranamba, Solomon Islands National University’s Kukum Campus as well as Ranadi.

SIWA, trading as Solomon Water, fears that connecting water to the houses has the potential for contaminating the bore hole below.

“Once the bore hole is contaminated, we may not be able to deal with an outbreak of diseases such as dysentery and diarrhoea,” one official said.

It is still unclear how the matter is going to be resolved. One option is to relocate.