BY ALEX DADAMU
A UN Habitat report profiling Honiara says Solomon Water provides water for slightly more than 77 percent of the 8,981 households in the city, 18 percent of which are located in informal settlements.
According to the report, an estimated 30 percent of all households in the city are connected to 14 (deteriorating) sewerage lines whose outlets flow directly into the sea.
Many Settlements in and around Honiara doesn’t have the privilege of accessing clean drinking water, even if they do access water, the cost of bill might be expensive for some families.
David Kebu, a chap who hails from Guadalcanal and Savo Islands, his family and other relatives settled just behind the Kwaimani Building at Kukum in the late 90s.
Accessing drinking water has been an issue for them since day one.
In the early 2000s, they successfully dug a well at the site and used it as a main water source for daily use.
Kebu, who is a retired teacher, acquired some knowledge from the Sacred Heart Teacher College in Bomana, Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the early eighties and later crafted a water wheel mechanism over the well to pump out water.
He told Environment Media Solomon Islands that during his time studying in PNG, he studied ancient Greek and Roman technology especially the Greek’s invention of the Water Wheel technology in 280 to 220 BC.
Kebu said the system he created was a very simple and a very handy replication of the Greek and Romans water wheel concept.
He further added that he doesn’t spend a cent in building the water wheel as the items that he used to build the water wheel mechanism was taken from discarded materials such as tyres, pieces of timbers, ropes, and PVC pipes.
According to Kebu, instead of a big wheel reaching into the well with bucket like containers scooping up water every time the wheel is turned, he invented a rope with fitted rubbers or tyres trimmed to fit the inside of the PVC pipe.
The rubbers are placed at a distance of every foot and every time a person turns the wheel clockwise, the rope with the rubbers run down into the water and back up through the PVC pipe which runs from the top to the bottom of the well and back up, sucking up water from the well – through the PVC pipe.
Meanwhile, Kebu said after he constructed his water wheel, he received numerous requests from people wanting him to build a similar water collecting system for them.
“Such innovations requires observation, passion, patience, and determination.
“More than anything else, they need hard work.
“I have this great admiration in ancient Greek and Roman Civilization, thus motivating me with my creation of a simple yet handy replica of the Water Wheels invented in ancient times.”