7 May 2003

Solomon Islands power company disconnects Honiara water pumping stations

11:22 am on 7 May 2003

The Solomon Islands Electricity Authority expects to hear from the government about settling its bill today when the water supply runs out in Honiara.

The Authority has been struggling for months to meet its costs, mainly because the government owes it millions of dollars.

In an effort to encourage the government to meet its bill, the Authority began shutting down the supply to government departments on Monday and yesterday it cut the power to all the water pumping stations in Honiara.

The general manager of the Authority, Mike Nation, says the government has not yet been in touch, but he is expecting a reaction later today when the last of the reservoirs is emptied.

"All we are asking for is that they have committed themselves to a given payment on a monthly basis. So long as they can honour that pledge there is no problem for either of us. But the due date was last Thursday and we issued a warning last Friday that if a payment wasn't received Monday we'd go ahead with our disconnections. And silence and no response and that's what we have done."

Mike Nation