Solomon Water continues to experience severe water shortages at its Kongulai source affecting many customers in Honiara. This started in July this year and as of this week there have been no significant changes to the situation.
Chief Executive Officer Ian Gooden says, “We continue to experience water shortages at the Kongulai source and the situation remains serious. The issue is blockages at the sinkholes feeding the Kongulai source resulting in the reduction in water production at our intake dam. Our daily water production is normally 13 million litres per day, however this has now reduced to 6.9 million litres per day making it difficult for us to supply water to our customers”.
Kongulai source currently supplies more than 40% of Honiara’s total production and also plays a critical role in pressurizing about 60% of Honiara city, including critical areas.
Daily monitoring of water levels at the Kongulai water source is continuing and we have also made some alterations to our distribution system to ensure water reaches most customers at some time each day. Our investigations to find and clear the blockage in the underground cave system are continuing, however given the complexity of the issue and the obstructions to the sinkhole further inland, it is taking longer than we expected and we are yet to see any significant improvements in the water levels.
“Our team has been investigating the blockages at the sinkhole or in the underground cave system and continue to work with landowners and responsible authorities to clear out the debris which we believe could have been deliberately put in the sinkholes. Further evidence also indicates the sinkhole blockage may have been a result of sediments built up from illegal logging operations in the Kohove area in the past” Mr. Gooden added.
Due to the water shortage, Solomon Water is currently implementing a water rationing program to ensure affected customers have water intermittently. There has been challenges with this program due to aging water infrastructures, power outages at our water pumping stations and water disruptions from burst water mains. This has resulted in customers having no running water for extended periods and outside of the rationing times. We have updated our rationing program and we will continue to review the program to do our very best to ensure all our customers receive some water each day.
To support Solomon Water, we call on the public to use water wisely and to report water leaks and theft as we continue to work to minimize any losses or wastage.
“Solomon Water acknowledges the hardship all of us are experiencing right now. We want to assure our customers and the public in Honiara that even though it has taken a lot of time, our team is working tirelessly to address the issue at Kongulai. We further ask the public to respect our staff in the field during this difficult time”, the Solomon Water CEO said.