Eda Ranu water woes continue

Editorial

EDA Ranu is again facing serious water woes.
Not only is the State-owned water provider owed millions of kina by its customers in the National Capital District, but its water treatment plant at Mt Eriama and sewerage treatment facility at the Waigani Swamp need urgent upgrading and rehabilitation as they are operating at almost full capacity.
Eda Ranu has proposed a new K300 million water treatment plant that can deliver 30 to 50 million mega litres to support the capital city’s current demand of 174 million mega litres.
Chief executive officer Henry Mokono says the second plant should address the water supply to the lowlands of NCD.
“I believe that when this comes on stream, water woes will be resolved.” As for sewerage, the waste problem is reaching crisis proportions at the Waigani Swamp treatment facility, which needs to be rehabilitated at a cost of K50 million.
Whether the O’Neill Government will respond favourably to Eda Ranu’s appeal for funds to build a new water treatment plant and rehabilitate the waste treatment facility remains to be seen.
With the national elections just 10 months away, followed by the 2018 Apec Leaders’ Summit, it is in the interests of the ruling coalition parties to support Eda Ranu’s plan to upgrade and boost the capital city’s water supply and sewerage treatment capacities.
For a start, the Government should put pressure on those departments and state entities that owe Eda Ranu millions of kina in outstanding bills.
While that may not be sufficient even to rehabilitate the Waigani Swamp sewerage facility, at least that’s money in the bank for Eda Ranu if most of it is collected.
This is the not first time the NCD water provider has been under intense pressure.
Last year, Eda Ranu revealed that 95 million mega litres of precious water – more than half the quantity supplied to the city of Port Moresby – was unaccounted for.
In other words, that water which has cost money to treat and reticulate has ended up earning nil return for the public utility company.
Nonetheless, Eda Ranu continued to supplying the capital city and earned its revenue from only half the water it supplied. It is evident that the source of the water wastage continues to be illegal connections or deliberate tampering and breaking of water pipes.
Much of the illegal connection and stealing seems to be happening in settlement areas and some residential premises.
Eda Ranu chairperson Mary Karo revealed last Thursday that property developers and real estate owners have been illegally tapping into the water mains.
She warned them to cease their illegal activities immediately.
“This call to them is to stop that nonsense because the impact of what they are doing, when Eda Rabu finds out, is disconnecting from the mains.
“What (then) happens to their clients?” she said.
Karo also warned Eda Ranu employees not collaborate with consumers in illegal connections following the sacking of seven workers last year.
Apart from wastage from illegal connections and broken pipes, rate payers are at times negligent and contribute overall to water going to waste.
A dripping tap in a residence or office may seem negligible but overnight this can be a bucketful so all leaking taps ought to be fixed.
Eda Ranu continues to urge home owners to use buckets and not hoses to wash and clean around their homes, especially during the dry season.
The city’s water and electricity are from the same source and both are affected by any drastic drop in the level of water at the Sirinum Dam on the Sogeri Plateau in Central.
During the dry spell city residents were warned and urged to help conserve water but many continued to ignore these water-saving instructions and used water as if there was no tomorrow.
While Eda Ranu awaits funding for its proposed new water treatment plant to meet the city’s ever-increasing demand, it would greatly help if residents and property owners paid their outstanding bills.
By doing so, they will enable the precious liquid to continue to flow smoothly to their homes and premises without unnecessary disruptions or delays.
And those residents and property owners who are involved in illegal connections and tampering of water mains should stop immediately or be hauled in to face the full consequences of their actions.

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