Gov’t addressing effects of early El Nino in Region Eight

As the prolonged dry season continues across the country, the government, through the Ministries of Housing and Water, and Amerindian Affairs, is working to bring relief to the residents of Region Eight who are affected by the early El Nino weather patterns.

During a visit to the region on Thursday, Ministers Collin Croal and Pauline Sukhai visited the Salbora Spring, one of the water sources, to see what percentage of water is flowing in the region and to brief the residents on the government’s immediate interventions.

“The source is where GWI has established a reservoir that distributes water to the township. You can see that the source is actually dried up and has been having a severe impact on households and businesses,” Minister Sukhai stated.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal and Minister of Amerindian Affairs addressing the residents of Mahdia at a community meeting

The Amerindian Affairs minister informed that the government is closely monitoring the situation, especially in far-flung areas like the hinterland.

She noted that the administration is doing whatever it can to assist the residents in Mahdia.

“Majority of Mahdia itself depends on this Salbora as a source. So, as a result, we are making some interventions in Mahdia. As we are doing throughout the country. We are collaborating with the councils. We have been collaborating with municipalities and the regions, etc.,” Minister Croal added.

Salbora Spring provides water to approximately two-thirds of the region’s population. However, due to the weather, it is operating at around 40 per cent presently.

The Salbora Spring, one of the water sources in the region

Water is also being distributed to the Mahdia residents through the Seven Miles and Admin Wells, however, just like the Salbora Spring, these wells are not sustaining water pressure at a maximum capacity.

Addressing the issue at a community meeting at the Mahdia Secondary School, the ministers assured the residents that the government has increased resources to cushion the effects of the dryness.

Stating some of the interventions made thus far, the housing and water minister explained, “We have strategically placed some black tanks within the community. So, that is the first intervention that we made for access. The second is that the gentlemen from GWI have brought in a booster pump.”

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal and Minister of Amerindian Affairs addressing the residents of Mahdia at a community meeting

According to the minister, the pump has already been connected and is located at Hill Foot, close to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC). This pump will help to increase the pressure of the water to higher areas.

Additionally, Minister Croal said works on the potable water well which was scheduled to be built in the region by 2024 will have to advance.

“With approval from the National Procurement and Administration Board (NPTAB), the government has fast-tracked the resources for the drilling of a new well. By this week, the rig will be set up to commence the drilling process,” Minister Croal disclosed.

Presently, the contractors are mobilising to the area and the well is expected to be completed within two to three weeks. This well is scheduled to be drilled and constructed at the entrance of Campbelltown at a cost of $15 million.