Community safety and sustainable food production a priority for Masig Well Restoration Project
Media Release: Torres Strait Regional Authority
The Torres Strait Regional Authority’s (TSRA) Masig Rangers have completed a project to restore and cap nine historic wells which are of cultural importance to the Masig community.
Many of the wells on Masig were in urgent need of maintenance due to the rusting structures and the lack of a secure well cap.
The Masig Rangers conceived a project to fix these wells through consultation with Masigalgal RNTBC (Registered Native Title Body Corporate), community and Elders in order to remove the safety threat and potential drowning risk they pose. Project Partners included TSIRC, My Pathway, Masig PBC and Community. The restoration project was primarily funded by the TSRA Rangers, with in-kind contributions from project partners.
Masig Rangers, together with Rangers from Mer, Erub, Ugar and Boigu, together with project partners set out to restore these wells by removing unsafe materials, capping the wells so they are safe and secure, and by installing water pumps to these historic wells so they can be utilised to water edible food gardens within the community.
TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said the Rangers participated in the large-scale project to restore and cap the wells because of community concerns around the decline of these historic sites and potential safety hazzards.
“Some of these wells previously posed a safety issue, but they are of important historic and cultural significance to the Masig community,” Mr Stephen said.
“So, the restoration project set out to preserve them, whilst making them safe to be around and to continue to be of use.
The Masigalgal community were grateful to the project team for the increased safety they have provided for Masig children and for the added ability they have to support edible gardens during water restrictions, as Masig Island operates primarily off desalinisation and water restrictions apply for most of the year.