Honiara water supplies again cut off by logging

There were reports from inspections carried out on site by Solomon Water of possible sources of the turbidity (dirty water) at Kongulai Water Source.

There were reports from inspections carried out on site by Solomon Water of possible sources of the turbidity (dirty water) at Kongulai Water Source.
Photo: SIWA

Water supplies in the Solomon Islands capital continue to be affected by logging, with some of the city’s water supply shut down for two days last week.

The Kongalai catchment, in the hills above Honiara, is where 40 percent of the city’s water comes from.

Two logging sites upstream from the Kongulai intake – one legal and the other illegal – has unleashed sediment into the river.

So, for the past few months, the water intake has had to be shut down when it rains, as sediment levels skyrocket.

Last week, some parts of Honiara were without water for as much as 48 hours in what is becoming a regular occurence.

“The key underlying cause of increase high turbidity are the illegal or unmanaged logging activities upstream in the Kongulai catchment water area,” said Ian Gooden, chief executive of Solomon Water.

“This is a big challenge for us as we are a victim of these activities but we have a responsibility to provide safe and healthy water to our customers”

The government says the logging in the catchment has been reined in, but the effects will be felt for some time.

The chief executive of Solomons Water, Ian Gooden, apologised to customers, saying there were plans for a new treatment plant at Kongulai – but that won’t be ready until late next year.

Published at Sun, 16 Jun 2019 18:26:15 +0000
Source: Honiara water supplies again cut off by logging