THE construction of direct water supplies and improved sanitation to villages in the Tina River Hydropower catchment area has been a vital deliverable of the Community Benefit Sharing Project.
As a part of the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) Implementation Agreement (IA), the Community Benefit Sharing Project (CBSP) team successfully delivered the project by engaging the expertise of local borehole drilling company – Pacific Strata Drilling & Water Engineering Services. The strategy is in place to ensure the Project helps build local business capacity which was achieved through fulfilling section 6 of the implementation agreement by procuring local contractors for the drilling activities.
Pacific Strata Drilling & Water Engineering Services is a family-owned company with Patrick Nanau running the day-to-day business as the Managing Director. He credits his business success as a local drilling company to his father, Michael Rahe, who has over 45 years of water well boreholes drilling experience worldwide, with a recognized Australian Licensed driller.
Mr Rahe also has work experience in countries such as Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Australia, Thailand, and more. With that breath of knowledge in borehole drilling, the company is unmatched in the Solomon Islands and the Pacific region.
In March 2022, the Pacific Strata Drilling & Water Engineering Services was engaged by the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) under the Community Benefits Sharing Project (CBSP) to work on the drilling component for the water supply and sanitation project. These systems were to be installed in public facilities and village centres in the Bahomea and Malango cultural areas, as well as the catchment communities of the Hydropower project.
A total of 16 boreholes, 7 of which were drilled by Pacific Strata Drilling & Water Engineering Services were completed in 2022, while another local drilling company, Soldrill Services completed worked on the remaining 9. The bigger communities of the Tina River Hydropower catchment area, such as Rate School, Tina Village, Malatoha, Mataruka 1, 2, & 3, and Betivatu School were drilled by Pacific Strata.
Mr Nanau said, his company was very fortunate to be part of the CBSP water supply and sanitation project.
“It’s been a pleasure to be able to deliver high yield boreholes for the respective communities of the Tina River Hydropower project catchment area. The project has broadened our human resources capacity and experience, especially since all our boreholes were deep and high yield. This project has also enabled us to procure new equipment and accessories targeted at drilling deeper wells for villages at high elevations should the need arises in the foreseeable future.”
He said the arrival of their new equipment, which costs over SBD$500,000 through the CBSP outflows means the company is now ready for borehole drilling any formation, any terrain, any elevation and anywhere the need exists.
After the successful drilling of boreholes in the Tina Catchment area, Mr Nanau said it was rewarding to see a lot of relief of the villagers when the water started flowing. “It’s always fun to see the reaction of the people when the air blasting of the water was conducted.”
The Pacific Strata Drilling & Water Engineering Services also wishes to thank other local companies such as Tongs Corporation and Island Enterprises for supplying the materials for the borehole and water supply and sanitation project.
CBSP Coordinator, Mr Francis Kapini said the process for engaging the drilling companies and material suppliers was a direct selection process due to the limited number of companies in town able to work on drilling jobs.
“The Project directly selected Pacific Strata who could drill boreholes from 60 meters and more, while Soldrill Services was selected to for the 35–55-meter boreholes.”
He added: “Working with Pacific Strata Drilling & Water Engineering Services has been outstanding; they are a highly rated company with professional borehole drilling experts.”
The CBSP water supply and sanitation project still has 12 more boreholes to complete in 2023 with Pacific Strata Drilling & Water Engineering Services in charge of work for the 3 larger boreholes.
News Source: Tina River Hydropower Development Project