By Bethanie Harriman – EMTV News, Lae
For more than four decades, people at the Busu compound and parts of the back road settlemen’s of Lae have used the Busu River as a water source.
As the country celebrated World Water Day yesterday, the people’say they are still waiting for the government to bring into their communities piped water supply.
“I’ve been here since I was a little and we have been using the river for cooking and drinking,” says Kipu Diga, a grandmother in her late 50s.
Living on the outskirts of Lae means being away from government utilities like electricity and water supply. Those who live on the fringes along the back road area look for water during the dry season. Their source for drinking water has been the Busu River for at least four decades.
“We dig next to the flowing river and wait for the water to become clean, we then use the water,” explains Ruthy Peter, a young mother.
Today they still live as their parents did before, digging for clean water near the fast flowing Busu. As a result, the river itself has claimed so many lives over the years.
The family laundry is also done here, mothers wash their babies and pots from their homes are filled with water for drinking and cooking.
World Water Day in PNG should be a reminder of how ordinary Papua New Guinean’s continue the struggle to find water that’s fit for human consumption.
The Busu settlement and others along the back road are now home to people who work for companies in Lae who can pay for water bills, and they have been demanding a piped water system.
The national government recently launched its nationwide WASH Policy, but international agencies suggest that more work needs to be done. And in these pictures, its shows that PNG still has a long way to go.