HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 584: 05 October 2011

WATSAN Moving Ahead with Muri Sanitation Upgrade
This week, Muri and Avana residents in Ngatangiia have been receiving hand delivered letters from the Water, Waste and Sanitation (WATSAN) Unit of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning and The Ministry of Health regarding site inspections that are set to commence this Thursday, 6th of October.
The inspections are part of an overall programme supported by New Zealand and Australian Government aid funding, to upgrade sanitation in Muri with the aim of stopping the decline in lagoon water quality and beginning the process of restoring the lagoon to a pristine condition. Physical works on upgrading infrastructure in Muri will begin before the end of 2011 with a target date for completion of December 2012.
The joint site inspections will be carried out by a team of qualified engineers and inspectors from WATSAN and the Ministry of Health. These site inspections are a logical follow-up to the initial site visit and survey that was conducted in Ngatangiia from January – March, 2010 by the European Union Muri Water & Sanitation Project.
The site inspections will be conducted on a prioritised basis to begin with, focusing on properties in high-risk areas, including the Lagoon Protection Zone (LPZ) which consists of 127 households in total.
At the same time as WATSAN are working on household sanitation issues, they are also addressing commercial properties and animal wastewater issues. Research figures indicate that domestic wastewater accounts for 45% of the pollutants discharged to the lagoon overall, compared with 35% from commercial properties and 12% from animals - which is why initial focus is on domestic properties.
A community meeting will be conducted by the Muri Environment Care Group and the Pu Tapere next week Tuesday, 11th of October, 6pm at the Muri Meeting House and WATSAN will be invited to present the programme in detail to the Muri and Avana community members.
Also, for those wanting to receive more information regarding the programme, there will be a WATSAN member available at the Muri Meeting House over the next two weeks from 8am – 4pm weekdays to assist with any queries or concerns and provide additional information to the public.
Donye Numa, Acting Secretary of The Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning today told the CI News “This is vital work for the long term health of our lagoons and it is essential that we work together to make it successful. We encourage anyone seeking more information to contact WATSAN on 22-648 to discuss any aspects of the programme or to visit our office in Muri, situated inside the Muri Meeting House”.
Meuri Environment Care Group Media Release

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