Authorities in the Canadian province of Nunavut (near Greenland) declared a state of emergency Thursday in its capital, Ica Colloid. The reason is that this city, which is mainly inhabited by Inuit people, is facing a crisis in clean water supply. Many have pointed out for days that this vital liquid coming from the refinery emits the smell of petrol. “We are taking this issue very seriously. We are working with governments at various levels to ensure safe water is available to the Ikoloid people,” said Nunavut Social Services Minister Gene Ehlok.
The results of various samples sent to laboratories in the south of the country are expected to be released in a few days. Since Tuesday, Ecoloid residents have not been recommended to use the water for drinking or preparing food, as well as for personal hygiene of children and pregnant women. Schools and government buildings have been closed since Wednesday.
The water in the ecoloid stores has disappeared from the shelves. A liter bottle can fetch $ 9 (US $ 7.25); $ 24 per package of a dozen 330 milliliter bottles (19 from the neighboring country). In various products Inuit communities They present astronomical prices despite transportation costs and federal subsidies.
The Nunavut government announced that 80,000 liters would be exported in bottles. Agnico Eagle, which operates several mines in the area, will distribute an additional 15,000 liters. Many residents collect fluid in the Sylvia Grinnell River, about 3 miles from the city. The volunteer group is responsible for distribution, especially among the elderly or those without vehicles.
The problem of safe water for Canada’s indigenous people is not a primitive problem. Despite federal efforts in recent years, 32 communities across the country still have problems using this vital fluid. The construction and operation of refineries represents a part of the solution; Maintenance of these plants and construction of pipe networks are also important issues to avoid contamination in tanks.
Ecclesiastical Deputy Mayor Janet Pitsiulak told the Brewster Network CBC Although the exact cause of the problem is not yet known, the city’s drinking water infrastructure is “crumbling”, in addition to contributing negatively to the housing crisis. According to Brewster, the long-term solution is an investment – at all levels of government – that could be around $ 100 million (approximately US $ 81 million).
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