KAINANTU District Administration has secured an alternate water source to restore water supply into Kainantu, Eastern Highlands province.
District administrator Ako Onise assured residents, business houses and public servants yesterday that normal water supply into the town will be restored by the end of this month.
“Work on water supply restoration will begin next Monday and will be completed by the end of the month,” he said
He said water supply in Kainantu had been a chronic problem, and he made this his number one priority when he took up office as district administrator 16 weeks ago.
Mr Onise held 15 meetings with the Tapo landowners who own the Kainantu water supply source to reach an amicable solution to restore water supply.
He said according to official record in his office, Tapo landowners had a genuine outstanding claim of K4,000 only and no more which the district administration was prepared to pay and restore water supply.
“A payment of K54,000 was already paid to them in 1993 by the Eastern Highlands provincial government under then premier Robert Atiafa, that was a one-off payment the Tapo Landowners accepted and promised not to disturb the water supply,” he said.
Mr Onise said the money was shared between the villages Kurina (K24,000), Kenefa (K10,000), Tuimpinka (K10,000) and Bastapo (K10,000).
However, Tapo landowners are demanding the Government pay them K277,000 before they allow water to flow into Kainantu town.
Mr Onise said they would not honour this demand.
He said the alternate water source would be sourced from Ramu River to feed the storage tank to supply to the town.
The new alternative source would be set up from a K200,000 set aside by Kainantu joint district budget and priority committee.
Mr Onise said he sent water samples from four sources to the National Analytical Laboratory at Unitech in Lae which proved to be good.
“Sample tests are necessary because the people are doing a lot of alluvial mining upstream.
“In a meeting last Thursday, we approved a private firm to construct the water supply which will start on Monday,” Mr Onise said.