SOLOMON Water Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ian Gooden has refuted recent statements published on Island Sun on “Minister Tovosia accused of ‘misinforming’ parliament on water situation in Honiara” by Alfred Sasako 3 September 2019 as – misleading.
Gooden said he was disappointed that his personal correspondences with Frank Short was somehow obtained, selectively edited and used by Alfred Sasako to tarnish the integrity of the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Bradley Tovosia as well as Solomon Water.
“Solomon Water appreciates the strong relationship the Board and executive have with the Minister and his staff, and sincerely apologises to the Minister for the misinterpretation of my statements,” Gooden said yesterday.
“I call on Sasako and Short to get their facts right before going to the media, and not distort facts for their own purposes,” he added.
Chairman Carson Korowa said that while freedom of speech in this country is important, it is also prudent and responsible for media to check their facts before publishing them and not distort the truth.
“Solomon water communications team are always happy to answer any questions or clarify matters relating to Solomon Water,” Korowa said.
He added the ongoing shutdowns at Kongulai following heavy rain will continue until a new treatment plant for Kongulai is operational in mid 2021.
“The plant is currently at the design stage and the construction cost will be about $120 million,” he explained.
In the meantime, he said Solomon Water is working to improve the water supply for Honiara through rehabilitating the White River bore field and investigating drilling bores in other locations in Honiara to provide more water at a cost of about $14 million.
“We are seeking funding support from Government for these works as we do not have enough money to fund them ourselves and they do not qualify for donor funding.
“We are anticipating approval by donors and Government of around $570 million at the end of September for water and wastewater projects in Honiara as well as water projects in Auki, Noro, Tulagi, Gizo and Munda.
“Solomon Water has also identified Lungga River as a long term source of water for Honiara and feasibility studies for the plant have been completed.
“The plant will cost about $400 million and is currently not funded by the above programme.
“We are seeking further support from Government and donors for this project as this will assist with the ongoing water issues and the upcoming South Pacific Games in 2023.”