Solomon Water supports gov’t review Kongulai lease with LOs


SOLOMON Water is supporting Government to re-negotiate the lease with landowners of the Kongulai water source in North West Guadalcanal.

This comes after the Paramount Chief of Haumbata Haniguana, Haumbata Taonavoa tribe, Chairman and Trustee of the Kongulae Water Source, Charles Keku Chilivi said they will shut down the supply if Government fails to review its lease as ordered by the supreme law of the High court of the Solomon Islands.

Further to that, Solomon Islands Post Conflict Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (SIPCRRA) threatened to shut the Kongulai water source if the Government did not table the Federal Constitution Bill and Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report.

Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer, Ian Gooden said they have received letters in the last couple of weeks.

“So, I am communicating with the Commissioner of Lands to communicate with Special Secretary to Prime Minister.

“And it’s an ongoing issue to trying to get that resolve,” he said.

However, Gooden said what the people are doing are breaking the law.

“And we are trying to persuade them not to use Solomon Water and people in Honiara as a leverage for other things that they want to achieve,” he added.

Recently, Chilivi said landowners (LO) of the Kovi catchment area and five trustees of Kongulae Water source have come to an agreement that the outstanding issues of Kongulae must be settled before any development can take place in the area.

“Trustees of the Kongulae Water source is currently observing a court order that’s still effective till today.

“The court made aware the Solomon Islands Government that they must settle our arrears with the review its lease,” he said.

Chivili said failure to comply with the matter will result in the shutting down of the supply for areas and outlets around Honiara.

“So, we are still waiting for the Government to respond on the matter but if the negligence remains as usual, we will shut down the supply as soon as possible.

“We intend to shut down the source because we can’t wait any longer for a lot of fake promises and sweet talks,” Chilivi added

In addition, the Kongulai water source supplies water to 40 percent of Honiara, which includes the whole of west Honiara, and parts of central and east Honiara. 

More importantly, due to its elevated location, Kongulai plays a critical role in pressurizing 60 percent of the supply network.

Solomon Water Chairman Donald Marahare is concerned Solomon Water is being used for leverage on a matter unrelated to the operation of the water utility and the water supply service it provides to its customers in Honiara.

“The potential forced closure of the Kongulai water source would result in severe consequences for Solomon Water, including financial loss and reputational damage. It would also cause serious inconvenience and health risks to Honiara residents due to potential loss of water supply.

“I urge SIPCRRA to engage with the Government and not use the people of Honiara for leverage. I also ask the Government for support and resolution of longstanding landowner issues in the Kongulai and Kovi areas,” he said.

Marahare said loss of water supply to the city can result in damage to the pipes and customer fittings, significant economic impacts due to business houses and government offices being forced to close and health and social effects on schools and other institutions, including the hospital.

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