CONSTANT water supply problem faced by Baisu jail in Western Highlands province has claimed one life last Saturday.
A seven-year-old daughter of a correctional service officer, Cpl Girua Wagula, drowned while bathing in the Waghi River because there was no water supply to the jail for three days.
Betty Wagula was accompanying her parents to Waghi River to bathe and also to do their laundry when she met her fate.
Baisu jail Commanding Officer Chief Supt Simon Sobaim confirmed the three-day water supply problem to the prison camp and married quarters.
Chief Sup Sobaim said last week the officers and their family members took time off to collect water from Waghi River for their daily needs.
He said because of water problem, the situation inside the jail was very bad and posed a health hazard to the prisoners and also to the officers and their family.
Chief Supt Sobaim said his officers had approached PNG Waterboard (PNGWB) office in Mt Hagen city several times to rectify the problem but, so far, no action had been taken.
He said if only the PNGWB staff had fixed the problem, the little girl would not have died.
He appealed to the PNGWB to make sure that there was constant water supply to the jail.
Chief Supt Sobaim also warned Correctional officers and their family members who gathered at the funeral on Sunday to take precaution when washing or doing laundry in the Waghi River.
He said many people already lost their lives when washing or trying to cross the Waghi River.
Chief Supt Sobaim said Waghi River flowed slowly during the dry season but when it rained heavily, the river would burst its banks and at the same time, gave strength to the current destroying anything along its way.
He said it was very sad to lose someone they had lived with together.
He appealed to the officers to contribute in cash and kind to assist the family in their funeral expenses.
Chief Supt Sobaim described Cpl Girua and his wife, Dories, as good Samaritans who gave more time working with “After Care Ministry group” to change spiritual lifes’ of the prisoners.
Cpl Wagula and his wife thanked the Baisu Commanding Officer and CS officers for their support towards the funeral.
“Without your help, we will not be able to do much like now.
“Thank you all and may the Lord bless each of you,” he said.
The water supply was restored on Monday afternoon.