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NO SIGNIFICANT RAIN FORECAST FOR REMAINDER OF MONTH

ISLAND-WIDE HOSEPIPE BAN NOW IN FORCE

 

SHG Officials and Connect Saint Helena Ltd (the ‘Contingency Planning Group’) have today decided that as exceptionally dry weather conditions continue - with no significant rainfall forecast over the next few weeks - the hosepipe and sprinkler ban has now been extended Island-wide, from today.
 

The reason for the St Helena-wide ban is because domestic water levels on the Island have reached very low levels. Reservoir levels have never been this low in recent years. The most serious problem is in areas serviced by the Red Hill Treatment Plant, including Half Tree Hollow, Cowpath, Ladder Hill, Red Hill, Sapper Way, New Ground, Clay Gut, Pounceys, Kunjie Field, Scotland, Plantation, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain, Francis Plain, Crack Plain and Guinea Grass.
 

Although these are the key areas affected, all St Helena residents are urged to exercise great care and restraint when using water.
 

Some commentators have asserted that we are experiencing normal seasonal weather patterns. This is not so. Rainfall data since 2001 (collected from the Met Office site in Bottom Woods) highlights a serious and significant drop in our monthly rainfall:

Rainfall Table









A further comparator is provided by data collected from four sites at St Paul’s since 2008. The rainfall from Jan- May each year shows that the average figure for 2008-2012 is 505mm, compared to this year’s figure of just 155mm (not including May).
 

This clearly indicates that St Helena has suffered a serious lack of rain this year – not at all like the seasonal norm.
 

Connect SH Ltd are doing all they can to prolong available water and are now in the process of gathering water from Macintosh and piping it to Red Hill in order to help water supplies – but this will not solve the main problem, which is lack of rainfall.
 

Barry Hubbard, CEO of Connect Saint Helena Ltd, explains:
 

“We are doing all we can to prolong the available water, but the evidence shows that we are currently using water faster than we are gathering it in these areas. We may reach a stage where we have to cut off the water to these homes, so we seriously urge residents in the areas listed above - and the community as a whole - to think twice about their water usage and use only for essential domestic needs.”
 

All St Helena residents are reminded that they can now only use water for domestic purposes. This does not include for construction purposes.
 

Residents not served by the Red Hill Treatment Plant may use water for agriculture if they are growing on a large scale for commercial purposes. Such residents will be visited individually by ENRD personnel to answer any questions. The use of fresh water on a small scale, such as on household vegetable patches, is prohibited.
 

ENRD will continue to support hydroponics in two polytunnels at Harpers (for as long as possible), which uses bowsered water from Molly’s Gut. No domestic water from the Red Hill Plant is used in this operation, which is an important research project testing the feasibility of hydroponics.
 

This situation is being handled very seriously and the recently formed Contingency Planning Group (CPG) will now meet on a daily basis to deal with the situation, given the predicted lack of rainfall over the next few weeks.

Acting Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey, who heads the Group said:
 

“We are putting together a plan to support residents, particularly those served by the Red Hill Treatment Plant, and are currently looking at how and where we can provide water should we reach the point where water supplies in these areas actually run out.”
 

A daily press briefing (at 2pm) is now planned, as of Mon 27 May, to provide public information and deal with questions. This briefing will be the main Q&A forum.
 

Important Notes:


Residents are reminded that they can limit their water use by:


• Not flushing the toilet on every occasion
 

• Using washing up water on the garden or vegetable patch
 

• Using the washing machine sparingly and only when full


• Taking a short shower instead of a bath - you can save up to 90 gallons of water a week
 

• Turning the tap off while brushing teeth - this could save 25 gallons of water a month
 

• Using a bowl when washing vegetables/fruit instead of using running water
 

• Checking your taps for leaks and fixing them - a small drip can amount to 20 gallons a day.
 

More water saving tips can be found online at http://www.thameswater.co.uk/home/540.htm
 

• The Contingency Planning Group includes members from Connect SH Ltd, Health and Social Welfare, ENRD, the Police and other senior SHG officials.
 

• Leaks in mains supplies remain a priority and any problems should be reported promptly to Connect Saint Helena Ltd on telephone 2255 during working hours, or 2522 out of hours.
 

Current Storage Situation at Harpers


Harpers Earth Dam – no useable water (level is down to the outlet pipe).
 

Harpers 1 (16,000m3 capacity) – nearly empty, approx 600m3 left.
 

Scotts Mill (8,000m3 capacity) – approx 3,000m3 left.
 

Harpers 3 (15,000m3 capacity) – nearly empty, approx 500m3 left. Total water stored = 4,100m3 (equivalent to 10 days supply at roughly 400m3 per day). So if we can reduce consumption, we can stretch the storage.
 

The media briefings will be held in the Council Chamber, with the first at 2pm on Monday 27 May 2013.


SHG
 

24 May 2013




WATER SHORTAGE ON ST HELENA – UPDATE

 

Domestic water supplies on St Helena continue to be at very low levels and SHG and Connect Saint Helena Ltd appeal to all residents across the Island to use water conservatively and to limit their consumption.
 

The current water shortage is centred on the Red Hill distribution area, which includes Half Tree Hollow, Cowpath, Ladder Hill, Red Hill, Sapper Way, New Ground, Clay Gut, Pounceys, Kunjie Field, Scotland, Plantation, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain, Francis Plain, Crack Plain and Guinea Grass.
 

Therefore the hosepipe and sprinkler ban continues in the Red Hill distribution area and we remind residents in these areas that it is an offence to use hosepipes or sprinklers or otherwise waste water intended for domestic use until further notice. It is vital that residents in the above areas show proper restraint in the use of water and limit this by, for example:
 

• Not flushing the toilet on every occasion
 

• Using washing up water on the garden or vegetable patch
 

• Using the washing machine sparingly and only when full
 

• Using the shower instead of taking a bath
 

• Not using a dishwasher
 

• Turning the tap off while brushing teeth
 

Efforts continue to try to source additional water in these areas and we will update residents as plans develop. In addition, leaks will be treated as a priority and any problems should be reported promptly to Connect Saint Helena Ltd on telephone 2255 during working hours, or 2522 out of hours.
 

Please think about how you use water and how you can use less.
 

Further updates will follow.
 

SHG
 

23 May 2013



ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES - INTERIM DIRECTOR APPOINTED

 

The current Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD), Tony Earnshaw, will depart St Helena on Sunday 26 May 2013. Tony is returning to the UK for vital and personal family reasons.
 

Following Tony’s departure, Paul McGinnety, Social Policy Planner, will assume the role of Director of ENRD - on an Interim basis, while a substantive Director is recruited.
 

Susan O’Bey, Acting Chief Secretary, commented:
 

‘Paul has been leading on the formulation of a Social Policy Plan for St Helena and has made very good progress. But, now that we are in a period of Purdah, prior to the General Election on 17 July, this work has had to be put on hold until after that date.
 

‘We are very pleased that Paul has agreed to take on the role of Interim Director of ENRD. Tony and his team have done an excellent job in laying the foundations for the newly formed Directorate and we are confident that Paul will build on this by embedding the reforms and keeping the work of the Directorate on a steady course’.
 

These interim management arrangements are designed to ensure a smooth transition into the new ENRD structure and to minimise disruption to Government business.
 

SHG
 

22 May 2013




ST HELENA’S DAY CELEBRATIONS 2013
 

St Helena Flag Flies High over FCO for First Time

 

The St Helena’s Day celebrations held in Jamestown and organised by New Horizons as an all day annual event, began with the traditional parade and opening Service.
 

The mini marathon kicked of the day’s sporting events, followed by the Novelty Sports that were once again won by the Basil Read team with a new runner up, the EMD/ Lupa collaboration.
 

Throughout the day there were a variety of stalls and entertainment in Jamestown, with a popular favourite, the Fowlers’ popcorn/cotton candy/sweet stall. There were also long queues on the seafront for the face painting and nail art stalls. Many stands and games were raising money for charities - including the Family Support Trust and Cancer Awareness, who had a confectionary and raffle stall.
 

One of the most anticipated events of the day was the Float Parade, with the Corona Society leading the way, followed by Harford Primary’s slave themed float, Little Miss May Queen, plus the impressive Longwood House with Napoleon and his Soldiers. The Athletic Commonwealth Day float finished the parade. Fireworks in the evening rounded off the day and drew the largest crowd.
 

Also celebrating St Helena’s Day was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, which flew St Helena’s Flag for the very first time, Minister Mark Simmonds tweeted: ‘Delighted to see the St Helena flag flying over the FCO today, marking St Helena Day.’
 

SHG
 

22 May 2013




LAST CHANCE: PROVISIONAL ELECTORAL REGISTER

 

The General Election will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2013. You will not be able to vote, or stand as a candidate, unless your name is on the Register of Electors. A Provisional Register of Electors was published on 8 May, and can be inspected at the Customer Service Centre or the Public Library, or at any of the rural sub Post Offices. Copies are also available for inspection by contacting any of the following people:
 

-Alicia Thomas, Jamestown
 

-Olive Williams, Jamestown
 

-Ronald Coleman, Levelwood
 

-Alfreda Yon, St Pauls
 

-Paula Moyce, New Ground, (SHG Transport Division)
 

-Jane Augustus, The Briars
 

-Brenda Thomas, Nr Gordon’s Post, Alarm Forest
 

-Connie Johnson, Half Tree Hollow
 

-Karen Henry, Archives Office, the Castle
 

-Sheridan Richards, Audit Service, Post Office Buildings
 

-Vilma March, Audit Service, Post Office Buildings
 

-Alfred Isaac, Sandy Bay
 

If you are eligible to be registered (St Helenian Status or spouse/life partner, over 18 years of age, and normally resident on the Island), you can apply to have your name added, or to correct your name, address, or Polling District. You can also apply to remove the name of someone who has died or left the Island. To do so, you must submit the appropriate form to Gina Benjamin, Assistant Registration Officer, at 1 Main Street, by 4pm on Friday 24 May. (The form was included as a newspaper insert on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May. Further copies are available by contacting the Assistant Registration Officer on tel: 2314, or any of the persons named above.)
 

Each registered voter will be able to select up to 12 Candidates in the Election this year. But remember: in order to vote, or stand as a Candidate, your name must be on the new Electoral Register. 


SHG
 

22 May 2013





WATER SHORTAGE ON ST HELENA – PUBLIC INFORMATION

 

St Helena Government, working with Connect Saint Helena Ltd, advises customers that domestic water supplies on St Helena remain very low and appeals to all residents across the Island to use water conservatively and to limit their consumption. Please think about how you use water and how you can use less.
 

This reflects several months of very little sustained rainfall, and although this appeal applies to the whole Island, the problem is particularly acute in the Red Hill distribution area. In view of this, the hosepipe and sprinkler ban continues in the Red Hill distribution area - including Half Tree Hollow, Cowpath, Ladder Hill, Red Hill, Sapper Way, New Ground, Clay Gut, Pounceys, Kunjie Field, Scotland, Plantation, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain, Francis Plain, Crack Plain and Guinea Grass. We remind residents in these areas that it is an offence to use hosepipes or sprinklers or otherwise waste water intended for domestic purposes until further notice.

The rain last night and this morning (17 May) is helpful, but in itself will not significantly raise stored water volumes. But the volume of treated water drawn from the Red Hill Water Treatment Works dropped below 300 cubic metres per day for the first time since the shortage began when the meters were read this morning. But this is not enough. Nevertheless we thank those residents who have shown restraint.
 

Residents in these areas should continue to limit their use of water, by for example:
 

• Not flushing the toilet on every occasion
 

• Using washing up water on the garden or vegetable patch
 

• Using the washing machine sparingly and only when full
 

• Using the shower instead of taking a bath
 

• Not using a dishwasher
 

• Turning the tap off while brushing teeth
 

Efforts continue to try to source additional water in these areas. All leaks will be treated as a priority at the moment and I would urge everybody to report them promptly to Connect Saint Helena Ltd on telephone 2255 during working hours, or 2522 over the weekend and public holidays (Monday and Tuesday). Please record a message on the answerphone and it will be dealt with as soon as possible.
 

SHG
 

17 May 2013





INCREASE IN BASIC ISLAND PENSION & INCOME RELATED BENEFITS

 

Recipients of Basic Island Pension (BIP) and Income Related Benefits (IRB) are to receive a 2% increase, backdated to 1 April 2013. This increase was agreed by Executive Council on 14 May 2013 as an interim measure to protect the more vulnerable members of the community, whilst the recommendations of the recently received Social Welfare Review report are considered after July’s General Election.
 

This means that BIP recipients on £49.07 a week will now receive £50.05, those on £36.80 will now receive £37.54 and those on £24.54 will now receive £25.03.
 

Islanders on IRB will also see an increase in their weekly benefits, and the maximum contribution for IRB recipients who have privately rented accommodation will also increase from £32.71 to £33.36 per week.
 

Households receiving benefits under transitional protection arrangements may not necessarily receive an increase on their current overall amount of benefits, as this will depend on the amount of transitional protection benefits they are receiving. But they will not lose out in terms of their overall amount of benefits compared to before the increase.
 

The Health and Social Welfare Directorate will be issuing letters to recipients of both BIP and IRB informing them of the increases and any changes in their weekly benefits.
 

SHG
 

17 May 2013





乾季に差し掛かるにつれ、小さな島国(マイクロ・ネーション)にありがちな問題に毎年悩まされるのだろう。

そんな季節だ。



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