The hospital ran out of water late last year creating an emergency situation that seriously affected its capacity to care for patients and staff.
When the hospital first ran out of water an immediate solution was provided by Oil Search with the installation of water tanks and improved water reticulation to manage the scarce water resource. But the assurance of water still depended on rain. This led the hospital Board to approach the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) who subsequently funded the provision and drilling of two water bores.
The water bores were successfully flow-tested last week and now create a reliable water supply for the hospital. Both bores have a substantial column of clean water to significant depth and are separately located to provide backup capacity and a sustainable supply.
Exxon-Mobil and Oil Search are also assisting with the supply of a water treatment facility and additional water tanks that will be installed in the coming weeks.
CEO of Hela Provincial Hospital Dr Hewali Hamiya said it was exciting to see the involvement and dedication of different partners towards improving the delivery of health services at the hospital, especially given the recent drought period.
“We are extremely grateful to Oil Search, IOM, and Exxon-Mobil for their support to provide the necessary support to keep the hospital running.”
Phase two of the hospital refurbishment is already underway with the completion of a new medical ward, site security, additional building refurbishment, new housing, new single quarters, and new kitchen and ablution facilities all on the works program.
Meanwhile, Oil Search has completed engineering design works and will be installing a main water supply line throughout the hospital grounds in July.