Director of Utilities Clinton Chapman and New Zealand High Commissioner Helen Tunnah were able to open the first Ultraviolet (UV) drinking water treatment system installed at the Tamakautoga community hall yesterday morning.
The systems are called High Output UV Sterilisation Systems which function to filter out any bacterial contamination in the water to provide pure and clean drinking water.
Tamakautoga is now able to get clean drinking water from the community hall in the village, says Clinton.
Five out of the fourteen villages on the island have already installed a UV drinking water treatment unit including Tamakautoga, Tuapa, Namukulu, Mutalau and Lakepa.
Clinton says that some of the systems in these villages still need some work but are hoping to have the units fully functional by the end of this week.
The UV drinking water units were funded by the New Zealand High Commission in Niue under a small community projects fund of a total of $28,000.
New Zealand High Commissioner Helen Tunnah told BCN news that she is grateful to help the community to get safe drinking water. She also understands that it may not be a large solution but it will be of great help for the people.
Tamakautoga Village Council Representative Lavea Puheke says that the village is grateful to finally have a source of pure drinking water in the village.
He also told BCN news that the unit will not only benefit their village but the villages nearby such as Avatele and Vaiea. They will be able to save petrol instead of travelling to town to collect pure drinking water, says Lavea.
Clinton says the remaining units should have arrived on yesterday’s flight.
An additional 20 water treatment units have been funded by the Ridge to Reef Project of Niue which will be primarily installed at government buildings and premises.
The funding of $130,000 also includes purchase of hardware to address the quality issues in the water supply systems in Niue.
Clinton told BCN news that while they are working on installing the UV water treatment units, the water supply division will be working on improving the water quality issues of each village.
“This includes fixing leaks, clearing water bore and tank sites, stormwater diversion, repairs to water bore and tank covers as well as cleaning of supply tanks”, says Clinton.
Meanwhile, the boil water notice is still in effect for the island except for Hakupu.
The advice is still given to the community to collect drinking water from the UV treatment water systems located at Niue High School, Niue Primary, the Commercial Centre and the drinking water collection points in the villages where the systems are installed.