A community leader of the Barana community on Mt Austen outside of Honiara city, Chief Marx Puchavu has expressed concerns over water shortages in his community and warns that the water sources in the area are at risk due to the logging activities in the vicinity of the water catchments.
Chief Puchavu of Barana community, Mt Austen, Solomon Islands
“Forest clearing and deforestation activities such as logging and un-managed milling are happening on the upper Lunga and Mataniko rivers and are directly affecting our water sources. For our community, the springs and wells closer to home have dried up and we now have to walk long distances to collect water for cooking, drinking and other domestic use. It is getting very difficult for the people.”
“We are in urgent need of assistance in terms of access to water but the whole community also needs to ensure that those who allow their land for milling or related activities do so with proper management plans in place.” Chief Puchavu said.
Chief Puchavu raised his concerns at a workshop organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through its Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to climate change (PEBACC) project in March 2017 in Honiara.
Discussions at the workshop revealed that the water catchments in the area are critical for Honiara city because they supply the water that the city is dependent on.