CONCERN citizens group Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) is calling on the new DCC government to consider the prevalent water situation in Gizo.
A Gizo resident yesterday sent a message to FSII expressing her ordeal caused by the water problem in Gizo.
The resident said all water tanks are now empty and residents are now turning to various boreholes around the island for water to bath, wash, cook and drink.
“Only those that have streams near their houses are lucky, otherwise you have to travel long way to fetch water”, the resident who wished not to be named told FSII News.
She said, the streams they are using were not tested so they are not even sure whether the streams are safe.
Hundreds of FSII members joined the chorus calling on the provincial government, Solomon Water and the national government to do something about the water problem.
“The situation is quite serious, making life very difficult for Gizo residents,” FSII CEO Ben Afuga said.
Afuga said, the provincial government must quickly submit to the national government a proposal to fix the water problem once and for all.
“Dubbed as the Solomon Island’s tourism hub, the persisting water problem is slowly killing the tourism industry there.
“Gizo needs a reliable, safe and clean water supply, hence the provincial and national government must work on a proposal to fix this problem once and for all”, he added.
Meanwhile one Gizo resident said accessing water supply is becoming scarce in Gizo.
“We rely on rain water, but with the approaching El Nino weather pattern, disaster is looming”, she said.
There were also reports that some Gizo residents even traveled as far as Kolombangara Island to fetch water.
Others are calling on the responsible authorities to source pipe water from the nearby Kolobangara Island.
At the same time, a longtime resident in Gizo said the water problem in Gizo is not new but no one took the initiative to resolve it amicably.
“It’s a long standing issue”, he said.
“A lot of private companies did lots of drilling but without any tangible result. Now we are still face the problem,” he added.
Another Western province member posted: “We want Gizo to be a tourist destination, yet we are still operating bush latrines and the story goes…”.
Others are now calling on the new MP for Gizo/Kolobangara and DCC to do something to salvage the people and businesses of Gizo, considered to be the second largest town after Honiara.
“Successive governments and MPs have been accepting the status quo. I wonder when are they going to wake up? My only hope rests with the new Hon. MP,” one commentator posted.
Gizo town accommodated some government, private and international NGO offices, hotels, motels, restaurants and businesses.
FSII has been reliably informed that the water situation has forced residents to turn to mineral water (bottled water). Some even use bottle water for cooking, which is very costly one Gizo resident posted.
“Now one small bottle water costs $10.00 and the shops are making huge profits,” he posted.
In light of this prevalent worsening water problem, many Western province FSII members are calling for the relocation of Gizo to another island that has a reliable water source and spacious land for expansion.
Afuga calls on the new PM and his government to consider the Gizo water problem a priority issue.
“The water problem needs to be fixed immediately,” he said.
– FSII News