ANTHONY KAYBING DWU Journalism student
THE 500-plus students at Buin Secondary School, South Bougainville, now have access to water in the school grounds.
Prior to the initiation of the water supply project, students had to walk to the nearest river, about 3km away.
Commissioner for South Bougainville region, Joe Lera, saw the need for the project after seeing the hardships students faced in having access to clean and safe water.
“I also noted that it was quite unsafe for the students, especially the female students, when walking all the way to Sigabai River,” Mr Lera said.
The project, costing K300,000, was designed by the local government technical services division of the Bougainville Technical Services and the construction contract was awarded to Korikunu Builders.
It started in 2006 and took a long time to complete for a variety of reasons, including theft of building materials and late arrival of ships bringing the materials.
Initially, an 80,000 litre tank was to be erected but because of theft of materials, it was decided that two 6,000 litre Tuffa tanks would be installed.
“After several delays, I am happy to say that the water tanks are now fully operationally,” Mr Lera said.
He said the installation of the two tanks was the completion of the first phase of an ongoing initiative.
The next stage would be to install water pumps so that water reaches all buildings in the school compound.
Currently, the water is only being pumped to student residential areas.
The second phase will see water being pumped to staff houses, the student mess and the building of proper ablution areas.
Mr Lera said due to financial constraints, the second phase might take time but made a commitment to the completion of the project.
He urged the students and staff to look after the newly installed facilities.
“Students and the teachers must be proud of the initiative and take care of the property,” Mr Lera said.