by Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Sirinumu Dam, which was officially opened in 1963, provides water for consumption and electricity for Port Moresby. The dam is the only water source for the country’s capital city and its over 500,000 inhabitants.
Earlier this month on October 2 when EMTV visited the dam, the levels were at 139 million m3. When we returned today, the levels are at 129 million m3. That’s a drop of 10 million m3 in a span of just three weeks.
On the other hand, PNG Power Limited Water Management Officer, Laun Medakou, said the current levels are slightly better than the El Nino situation faced in the 1997.
With the prolonged dry spell being experienced in the country, PNG Power’s Water Management team says it has control mechanisms in place to ensure its consumers in the nation’s capital are protected.
It was revealed in a statement that the Senior Executives of EDA RANU and PNG Power met to discuss contingency plans and strategies to counter the El Nino period.
PNG Power Acting CEO and Chief Operating Officer, John Yanis, has given his undertaking that once the water levels at the Sirinumu Dam drop to the 100 million cubic metre mark, all hydro electricity generation using this source will cease.
Water levels at Sirinumu are now at the 38 per cent capacity level and with a monthly draw down rate of 5 per cent by both SOEs this water is expected to last another eight to 10 months.
Eda Ranu Chief Executive Officer, Henry Mokono, is strongly appealing to residents of NCD, especially the settlements and the Motu Koita villages, to be water wise.