DOWNSTREAM COMMUNITIES WARNED OF TAILINGS SPILLOVER

The tailings dam at the Gold Ridge mine. Photo credit: Pacific Scoop.

The tailings dam at the Gold Ridge mine. Photo credit: Pacific Scoop.

All downstream communities along the Kwara, Tinahula and Matepono rivers, Central Guadalcanal must quickly seek medical attention, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has advised.

This is urgent especially for people suspected of having any unusual health-related issues posed by the recent spillover of the Gold Ridge tailings dam.

Under Secretary for Health Improvement of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr. Chris Becha made the urgent call this morning.

“If you have this symptom please visit a health facility quickly, so first is diarrhoea and once a community experience a surge in diarrhoea I think it’s better to seek medical care, itchy skin or rash, fever and maybe anĀ unusual cough.”

Dr. Becha says medical services are available to the suspected communities including the Good Samaritan hospital at Tetere.

“So we have clinics very close to the vicinity of that area, Tinahulu clinic is currently open, Ngalibiu clinic at GPPOL 1 is also currently open with service and the Good Samaritan Hospital is also open, so I would like to encourage the public that once they see these unusual signs and symptoms please seek health advice.”

SIBC News understands, the Ministry of Health through the Guadalcanal Health Authority is dispatching health teams with key messages to affected communities.

Meanwhile, Guadalcanal Provincial Premier Hon. Anthony Veke told SIBC’s “Distaem Nao” Program today authorities at Pitukoli Clinic have confirmed receiving three unusual cases of high fever symptoms from the affected communities last week.

Mr. Veke says the health authorities believe this was caused by the recent spillover from the tailings dam.

“When they reach Pitukoli clinic, the nurse there said they have received three cases of high fever and symptoms that the nurses there believe they are caused by the river.”

SIBC News has received a number of calls for investigation of dead fish found by the downstream riverside communities.

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