Following an assessment carried out by the Company’s Community Affairs Department, the team identified extensive damages to water supplies, buildings and solar panels.
The restoration exercise is conducted concurrently with the Company’s relief efforts in the communities of Sisibia, Kaipu and Hebaiya and will continue to other villages over the coming weeks.
The team fixed damaged solar panels in Sisibia, fixed and installed water tanks to supply both Kaipu and Sisibia clinics. A local Church was also assisted.
In Hebaiya, more than 500 villagers were left without clean water for drinking, cooking and washing since the earthquake struck, forcing locals to walk five hundred metres to the nearest creek to bath, do laundry and fetch water for cooking and drinking.
“The only thing that was affected in our village was the water supply as a result of the damaged pump so the tanks were not receiving any water,” Pius Nadu, a Hebaiya villager, said.
The village community had received the water pump along with storage tanks as part of Oil Search’s major drought relief initiative that was designed to ensure ongoing clean water supply for villages following the 2015 drought that affected the Highlands region. The Company was back there again to help the community following the recent earthquake.
“Now we can hear water being pumped into the tanks and we are grateful that Oil Search sent its community affairs team here to fix this problem and we now have water running from our taps again,” Pius added.
Oil Search is focused on rebuilding and getting communities back on their feet by providing safe water and sanitation facilities, re-establishing gardens and repairing or rebuilding houses, roads and infrastructure.
(Oil Search’s community affairs team fixing a damaged water pump in Habaiya village, Southern Highlands Province. The water supply feeds over 500 villagers)