16 Jul 2012

Solomons water authority aiming for top gong

4:27 pm on 16 July 2012

The general manager of the Solomon Islands Water Authority says his aim is to get the company's standard of service in the capital Honiara up to that available in developed countries by 2020.

Richard Austin's comment follows the city's hosting of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts, for which he says every effort was made to ensure the festival village and surrounding accommodation had a constant supply of water.

Old, narrow pipes, an unreliable supply of electricty and leakage rates of 50 percent are among the authority's challenges and water is rationed over a 24-hour period to make it available to everyone.

Mr Austin says his main focus is improving customer service.

"My objective actually is that SIWA become the best utility service provider within the Solomon Islands. And that will largely be based on our ability to relate to the customer and deal with the problems efficiently, effectively and politely."

Richard Austin says illegal connections are a problem for the authority but a compaign to register those connections is proving successful.