Honiara, Solomon Islands - Bore hole drilling for the Community Benefit Sharing Project (CBSP) water systems are now complete with the last 3 water bores holes at Belaha finished this week. A total of 18 holes have been drilled ready for the system construction which will benefit approximately 40 communities from Bahomea, Malatoha, Mataruka and Belaha.
Next week, construction on the water systems will commence at Tina village, Rate Community High School, Horohotu 3 and Aretakiki with materials being delivered over the coming days. The entire construction program to build 18 systems will take approximately 60 days with multiple crews working in various locations at once. Contractors FB Quantity Surveyors and JP Plumbing and Construction will be the first contractors working up in the communities and when completed, the systems will allow locals direct access to water supplies from drilled sources for the first time.
CBSP Coordinator Francis Kapini said the completion of the water systems signifies an important milestone for the project and also for the communities who have never had a reliable direct water supply. “A lot of places within the Tina River Hydro catchment areas do not have water supply. The completion of this program is a very big achievement for the project and a huge benefit for communities,” Kapini said.
He goes on to say the constructions are also a first for the region with these types of cluster systems built with multiple water supply structures concentrated in the same region.
Chief Rex Ata, speaking on behalf of the first completed water systems for the of Marava, Ngongoti, and Valele communities, acknowledged the CBSP program for giving them hope.
“We are very excited with the CBSP funding because we can now access water close to our doorstep. Gone are the days of walking distances to fetch water for our consumption,” he said.
Eleven water standpipes were also constructed for the communities of Marava, Ngongoti, and Valele.
Boniface Talu, a local water expert hired by CBSP to oversee the construction of the water bore holes, said he anticipates seeing all the water systems up and running by the end of this year.
He explained that once the construction of water systems is completed, the water supplies will be handed over to the people of the Project catchment areas. Workshops will be held to train locals on how to operate and maintain the systems. In addition, students who have been sponsored by CBSP to attend SINU and attain plumbing qualifications will also be involved in maintaining the systems.
In addition to completion of water drilling, two naturally sourced water systems have also been completed; one at Marava in the Bahomea region and also at Sughina, Malango region. These systems upgrade have been funded by CBSP with solar equipment and water pump to improve of the existing system.