Reconstruction underway at Popondetta dam

National, Normal

The National- Monday, February 7, 2011


THE water dam in Northern’s Popondetta town that was destroyed after the Bangoho River flooded its banks following overnight rain last Wednesday is currently undergoing reconstruction. 

Provinicial administrator Owen Awaita instructed contractors and the PNG Water office in a letter over the weekend to urgently fix the dam and immediately supply water for town residents.

“Town residents have been left without fresh water for the weekend and most have been using the Bangoho River and other rivers out of town.

“I want the dam to be opened in the next 48 hours or else we will endanger people’s lives with no water supply for cooking and for toilets.

“I have also instructed the fuel depot manager to supply fuel and he has provided enough diesel drums for the two excavators, a dozer and a front-hand loader for the workers to complete the job.

“I also ordered the contractors to set up flood lights which they have done so that they can work through the night to rebuild the dam.

“The town has a temporary dam which is built next to the Bangoho River and it’s built in a way 

that prevents the floods from the river when there’s continuous rain but in this case the banks were over flooded and caused the dam to burst,” Awaita said.

The PNG Water office was told to open up the huge Southern Cross water tank so the town residents could get clean water for cooking. 

“Unfortunately, I have tried unsuccessfully to get huge water cart trucks from Higaturu Oil Palm and Ambogo Sawmill to transport water from the Southern Cross tank and supply to residents,” Awaita said.

He will be meeting with the provincial police commander, the fire commander, WaterBoard manager and the fuel depot manager today to address the issue.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has said the continuous rain and thunderstorms in Popondetta and other parts of the province were a direct result of Cyclone Yasi which hit the northern part of Queensland, Australia, last week