KO's Safe Water Project expands to three Tribal Councils

Date: October 19, 2016 

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Original article by Shayla Bradley for The Sioux Lookout Bulletin.

More First Nation communities should have access to safe drinking water in the coming year, with the expansion of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Safe Water project. With a $4.148 million federal investment, the project will expand to an additional 14 communities, as announced in Dryden October 12. So far, the project has lifted long-term boil water advisories in three communities, with one more on track to be lifted.

The project provides communities with training and certification for local water operators, operational support while those operators pursue certification, and monitoring technology. With the funds, support will expand to Shibogama First Nations Council, the Windigo First Nations Council, and the Independent First Nations Alliance.

“We are delighted the government is continuing its support of our efforts to improve First Nations’ access to safe, clean drinking water,” said Geordi Kakepetum, chief executive director of Keewaytinook Okimakanak. “With this new funding we will be able to build on our success, and assist more communities looking for proven solutions to their drinking water challenges.”

“This is just another step toward providing clean and reliable drinking water by eliminating boil water advisories in First Nations in the Kenora riding,” said Kenora MP Bob Nault. “This announcement will certainly go a long way toward fulfilling our government’s commitment to addressing the issue of safe drinking water in our First Nation communities. Looking forward, the technology and infrastructure used in this project could help to bring an end to water boil advisories throughout the country.”