PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 8) – Wewak, the capitol of East Sepik in Papua New Guinea, has been in darkness and without water almost for a week.

This is because a power generator owned by PNG Power has ceased operating.

Most business houses in Wewak have been advised by PNG Power to use their own standby generator while public utilities like Waterboard and Health services have to put up with the problem.

A senior officer with the PNG Power in Wewak said that they advised business houses and residential areas of load shedding because one of the only two generators that were working blew up.

PNG Power has four power generators in Wewak but two are not working. The other one just blew up and needs mechanical repairs before it becomes operational.

He said repairmen from their headquarters in Port Moresby would be flown in this week to repair the generator.

The town's problems are further compounded by problems with water supply to the residents and business houses.

A woman officer with the PNG Waterboard in Wewak said they could no longer provide safe drinking water to the residents.

She said the power failure and load shading has caused inconvenience to everyone including the PNG Waterboard.

"The power failure is a great concern that is affecting our operations," she said.

A resident of Kreer Heights complained that the prolonged power problem is affecting their daily activity.

"The water we are getting from our water tap is sometimes dirty and is unhygienic for cooking," she said.

"I call on all the East Sepik leaders including our Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to heed our concern.

"It would be good if he came and fixed our water and power problem at his own back yard because that is his political base."

December 9, 2003

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/


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