A Ni Hat'ni Dene Guardian delivering water from the river. Photo: Submitted
Łútsël K’é is struggling to deliver water to residents and facilities after the community’s water trucks broke down and could not be immediately repaired.
The water shortage has reached the point that Łútsël K’é Dene School told residents it would close on Thursday and Friday this week unless water delivery is restored, and the community health centre shut down some of its operations on Wednesday, stating in a notice that “normal clinic hours will resume when water is available.”
Writing in a Facebook group for Łútsël K’é residents, senior administrator Memory Murefu said mechanics had “tirelessly worked on our water trucks in the past two days” but without success.
Murefu told residents that “long-outstanding maintenance and missing parts” were concerns, and the problems with the trucks meant the community is “unable to deliver water as expected.”
“I’m aware that you are all out of water. I have reached outside for assistance and will keep you informed as soon as possible,” Murefu wrote.
Reached by phone on Wednesday evening, Murefu said she could not comment and directed questions to the territorial government’s Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.
A spokesperson for the department said a response to questions about the water disruption was being prepared.
One resident said they had not realized, until the senior administrator’s Wednesday Facebook post, just how serious the situation was.
They provided photos that appeared to show a grader towing a water truck to get water to some residents, though Cabin Radio couldn’t independently verify what was taking place.
On its Facebook page, the Thaidene Nëné Indigenous protected area said Ni Hat’ni Dene Guardians were helping residents to get water from the river.
Both the Guardians and Murefu asked residents to leave water containers by their doors for service. Murefu said Elders would have priority, followed by “people without any means to get to the river,” then households that have children and are out of water.