Over 10,000 benefit from water supply project

Health Watch

THE days of depending on contaminated water for drinking, cooking and washing for some 10,000 people in Omkolai, Gumine, Chimbu, are over, thanks to the Brian Bell Foundation which funded a water supply project.
Sir Brian Bell Foundation director Robert Nilkare and Brian Bell Goroka branch manager Patrick Dunks opened the Omkolai community water project last Friday.
Nilkare said the water supply would provide fresh water for inhabitants of Omkolai wards (one-four) in the Gumine local level government (LLG).
He said the people would have access to clean and treated water after more than 30 years of drinking untreated water sourced from streams and rivers.
The water supply was built under the initiative of foundation which aims to help improve the quality of life for people in communities across Papua New Guinea.
Nilkare said according to reports from Simbu health authority, Gumine had the highest number of people affected by waterborne diseases in the province.
The water supply project was facilitated through a partnership between the foundation and ward councillors, community leaders and churches in Omkolai.
“Partnerships in the Government, private and business are a positive way to achieving any goal and this project is the result of good partnerships between community, Government and stakeholders,” he said.
Nilkare urged ward councillors, LLG presidents and churches to work together to help address basic needs of the people and not to depend solely on the Government.
Omkolai community water supply project coordinator Roger Kowpa thanked the Sir Brian Bell Foundation for its help.
He said they had set up 63 water taps from wards one to four and these were serving 10,000 people, including a primary and high school, rural police post, community health centre and two mission stations.
Kowpa said the last time the area had a water supply installed was in 1982 which lasted for a year before it was cut.
He said since then, they had used rain water from tanks, streams and rivers.