Following a state of emergency brought on by a ruptured water main, the northern Ontario Oji-Cree community of Kingfisher Lake is getting back to normal, says Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh.
A statement released July 18 by Kingfisher Lake Chief Eddie Mamakwa declared a state of emergency for Kingfisher Lake Reserve #1 after a water line that had been severed the day before left many in the community without safe drinking water and led to an overflow in the sewer system that flooded the community’s only store.
“We couldn’t buy anything from the store, and we had no drinking water,” said Bishop Mamakwa, whose office is in the remote fly-in community.
Fortunately, the Sioux Lookout-based Shibogama First Nations Council, of which Kingfisher Lake is a member, sent bottled water and groceries. While it isn’t yet clear when the store will be up and running, the situation is “stabilizing,” said Bishop Mamakwa.
“They set up a temporary store at another building, so we can get some items there, the essentials. And they turned…the water [back on] a few days ago.”
Initially, the community was on a boil water advisory, but Mamakwa said that was lifted yesterday.
According to the bishop, the water line was severed accidentally during a construction project to build some new houses in Kingfisher Lake.
Chief Eddie Mamakwa was contacted by the Anglican Journal, but declined to comment.