Downstream communities warned to stay alert incase of a spill
WATER level at the Gold Ridge tailings dam on Central Guadalcanal is reportedly rising following days of heavy downpour posing a threat to communities living downstream.
Reports reaching the Solomon Star last Tuesday claimed the water level has reached the top of the wall during heavy rain last week and was believed to have leaked.
A man from North Guadalcanal when contacted yesterday said, they believe the tailings dam leaked during the heavy rain last week.
“We understood that the water has been rising to a certain level where we believe it leaked during the bad weather.
“If the rain continues this week we believe it would continue to leak,” he told this paper from North Guadalcanal yesterday.
Member of Parliament (MP) for North Guadalcanal Constituency, Samson Maneka told the Solomon Star yesterday said, its 100% that if the heavy rain continues this week the tailings dam will lead to in a spill over from the dam.
Yesterday he was with the Gold Ridge downstream communities to conduct awareness about the tailings dam and its likely dangers.
“Because we understand this tailings dam is likely to spill off if rain continues.
“So we are here to provide awareness to communities about this tailings dam and what that needs to be done,” Mr Maneka who is the Minister of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace said.
He said, the tailings dam is rising to a point that it poses so much risk the lives of people living downstream and some villages in North Guadalcanal.
“Because the situation is risky for them we have been conducting awareness since last week so that people are being alerted of the situation.”
He said, his group is currently monitoring tailings dam situation because in the event the rain continues it would be a different story.
When asked of any relocation plan Mr Maneka said, at the moment there are no plans.
“At the moment we have no concrete plans for relocation but only are providing awareness.
“If the situation gets worse then I would put this to Cabinet for discussion because it is a serious issue,” Mr Maneka a first time MP for North Guadalcanal Constituency told the Solomon Star from Gold Ridge area yesterday morning.
The country has been hit by cyclone Raquel last week and it has slowly moved away over the past days.
By DENVER NEWTER