Ahousaht without clean water since Friday

Andrew Bailey

Black Press

The sun set on the West Coast Tuesday without any clean water in Ahousaht and no official word on when it will return.

The tiny community located on Flores Island, about 20 kilometres north of Tofino has been without a potable water supply since a water main break forced it into a state of emergency on Friday.

As of Wednesday morning, there had yet to be a response from the federal government about whether or not it would be providing aid.

The most recent post on the Ahousaht Nation Facebook page was made very late Monday by Michael Swan.

“Ahousaht has attempted to repair water line with no success this evening we went to the beach at 9 p.m. and just got back in. Our initial plan was to use a machine to dig to get rid of the water, but the machine excavator broke down half way down the hill. The tides are not on our side right now which makes this tough we did not reach the pipe yet.

“We need machines here to make things easier we have two but are not working at this moment so tomorrow we will work on machines to get them going and try again. We are not giving up hope. We are very appreciative and blessed with the help we are getting… God bless you. God be with us.”

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns is urging Ottawa to do something about the situation.

“We need immediate action,” Johns  said late Monday. “This community can’t wait another 24 hours for a sizeable amount of water and the resources necessary to take care of the displaced members. We need government action immediately.”

He said Ahousaht officials did an “incredible job” to organize evacuations of local elders and children to Tofino and Lone Cone but can’t do it all without some assistance.

“This is a very important time of year for everybody in our communities during the holiday season but especially for remote communities where people take the time to travel far distances to be close to their community and we know how tight the Ahousaht community is,” he said.

“We’re urging the government to do everything they can to get water to the Nation, to provide the resources for accommodation and meals for those members that have been displaced and, if necessary, to provide some of the experience and people that can help remedy the line break given the difficult challenges that this community’s facing.”

Anyone willing to help out by donating water are encouraged to contact Ahousaht deputy chief councillor Patti Charleson at aboo_19@msn.com or 250-670-9531.

 

 

— with files from John McKinley

 

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