The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By KESSIE TADAP
TEMPORARY water supply has been restored to the township of Kundiawa after it was shut down by landowners over the Christmas and New Year festive period.
Reports reaching The National indicated, however, that landowners will shut down the water again after two weeks if the State Solicitor still refuses to hand over their court ordered cheque for K6.8 million.
The cheque payment is believed to be payment for water supply to the township for more than 20 years and was awarded to the Urr Water Supply Landowners (UWSL) early last year.
UWSL is made up of the Simbaiku and Okandi clans of the Kamaniki Tribe.
According to Dr Mark Tonar, the acting chief executive officer of Kundiawa General Hospital, this arrangement was only temporary as the landowners had given a deadline of two weeks for the cheque, which is still parked in the Solicitor General’s office in Port Moresby, to be given to them.
Tonar said the concerned authorities must resolve the situation quickly as town residents, business houses and the hospital would be severely affected if the water was turned off again.
Tonar, who chaired the meeting yesterday at the Lutheran Secondary School, said that after the main water supply to the town was restored that the landowners and stakeholders in town decided to meet yesterday with their local member Joe Mek Teine to find an amicable solution to the situation as innocent stakeholders were being denied vital service which entities like the hospital needed to save lives.
Emphasising the need to have the matter solved quickly, he said that patients at the hospital would be affected as it was the referral hospital for all highlands provinces.
“How will the patients take their medicine and get better if there are no water for them to drink medicine, you could hardly expect them to swallow the medicine with only their saliva?” he said.
Tonar also confirmed that the water supply was shut down during the Christmas period and was opened for two days due to pleas by the town residents, business houses and the hospital but was shut down again during the New Year period.
Water supply to the township was reopened after Teine promised to take a formal delegation of four representatives from the landowners to meet with the State Solicitor General to come to an agreement to release the cheque.