Dear Editor – In a water supply project costing more than $1million, shared equally with the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Government of the Solomon Islands, villagers centred on Laro, Nyimoa and Tanga in the remote Reef Islands finally, last week and after waiting for many years, were able to turn on taps outside their homes to get their drinking water.
For many reading such a report from the comfort of their homes overseas where their water has always been available in their homes, with the exception still in remote areas of the world and especially in parts of Africa.
I wonder to what extent there is a real appreciation of what the supply of fresh water really means to the villagers in the Reef Islands. No longer will the water have to be fetched by walking long distances and collected from wells.
I can share in the joy of experiencing something so essential to basic human needs for, during the early years of my life during the Second World War in Britain, food and most essentials were strictly rationed and there was very little to eat, but one had also to endure, in the part of England I lived, nightly air raids by German aircraft dropping bombs on port cities.
It was not until 1946 that I first tasted chocolate and then in powered form delivered free to my school by the United States.
The same with eggs because there was rarely an egg available in my home until 1945. Prior to that one had egg powder that had to me mixed with water as a substitute for a real egg.
I can therefore share in the joy the villagers of the Reef Islanders must be feeling right now and I salute their patience and endurance displayed for many years.
Equally, I thank the help given by Taiwan and the DCCG to make the water supply possible.
I extend my thanks too, if I may be permitted, to Minister Dudley Kopu for his keen and active involvement in the facilitation of the water supply project.