Salmon farmer helps B.C First Nation over water shortage emergency

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Water shortage has caused the Ahousaht First Nation to declare a state of emergency.

Salmon farmer, Cermaq Canada, has stepped in to transport water over a chronic water shortage that has affected the Ahousaht people, one of BC’s largest First Nation located on the west coast of Vancouver Island according to the Salmon Arm Observer.

The Ahousaht’s water resevoir is so badly contaminated with “mystery” debris and mud that severe water restrictions have been put in place. The First Nation’s elders have had to be transported to a town 20 kilometres away.

The water is being transported to the Ahousaht by Cermaq Canada.

“Cermaq has a longstanding relationship with the Ahousaht community and we are happy to help in any way we can. Our thoughts are with the community and, in a small place like this, this is what neighbours do. We know Ahousaht would do the same for us if we were in a similar situation,”  said Cermaq’s Sustainable Development Director Linda Sams as reported in the publication.

“Right now we have about 10,000 gallons of water storage capability, and we are working to locate more tanks. The Tofino Fire Department is filling the tanks on the barge from a nearby fire hydrant and P&H crane is helping to load and move the storage containers.”

She added the company plans to ship an additional 320 18.5-litre jugs of water to Ahousaht tommorow.

”We are going to continue working closely with members of the Ahousaht Community, the District of Tofino and other local support services to ensure the community has the water required until their system is restored,” she said. “We will be setting up a recycling centre to gather the water jugs after the water supply has been returned. This is in-line with our commitment to protecting the environment and reducing micro plastics in the oceans.”