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Popondetta Water Woes

By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Popondetta town in Northern province urgently needs a backup water source to maintain its supply.

Water PNG Popondetta Business Centre Manager, Kingsley Waike, confirmed with EMTV News that there is only one source, which is the temporary dam that supplies the whole town area.

A permanent water source is needed for operations to continue because water issues have been ongoing in Popondetta.

According to Water PNG Popondetta, this temporary dam gets washed away two to three times annually because of flooding.

“During periods where we have big rains, it causes flooding. Currently we are trying to maintain the wall but the costs are too high,” Waike said.

Currently only one pump is powering water to the main storage tanks, and there is fear that it could break down anytime.

Waike said a pump was replaced after it broke down, and he thanked Oro provincial leaders for their rescue efforts.

“Three pumps actually broke down and we tried our best but couldn’t. I would like to thanked leaders, especially the Ijivitari MP, David Arore with the district office, the governor’s office and others who have helped us,” he said.

With this ongoing problem, Waike said Water PNG Popondetta couldn’t extend to new projects, because funds have been used on existing projects.

“Every year, we are faced with this same problem. By now we should be looking at other problems like extending services to communities that desperately need water,” he said.

Meanwhile, Water PNG Popondetta is looking at other alternative water sources and working with the Oro Provincial Government to ensure clean and safe water is maintained.

“We need the political will to ensure that we deliver services to our people.”

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