OUJE-BOUGOUMOU ENVIRONMENTAL PROFILE

Prepared by: Joseph Shecapio-Blacksmith, LEA

DRINKING WATER

Geographically, the village of Ouje-Bougoumou is situated on the edge of a long ridge of esker, where aquifer deposit is plentiful. This aquifer deposit is used by the village as its source of drinking water. The distance between the water well and the reservoir is approximately one and a half kilometers. From the water well, the groundwater is pumped into a reservoir (untreated) and is then repumped into the network distribution system for public water consumption and household use by the community population.

Since the installation and operation of our water well and reservoir, no chlorine treamtent is applied nor required. Colilert sampling is done on a regular basis, three times a week. Bacteriological samples are carried out as recommended every eight weeks, analyses are processed by an accredited laboratory (Bodycote) in Pointe Claire, Montreal. Physical/chemical analyses are carried out for inorganic substance analysis once a year between August and September.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT

For purposes of protecting public health and the safety of local residents, the monitoring of pollution control systems are operating efficiently and provide adequate protection for the environment. Sanitary wastes are collected at the pumping station, then transferred into the lagoon. After treatment, which is an aeration process, wastewater is sampled and released at the outfall into Opemiska Lake.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

Ouje-Bougoumou's landfill site offers sufficient space for twenty years to accommodate local domestic waste, and designates areas for sludge, drums, appliance and dry waste materials. Local domestic waste is collected by a local hydraulic dump truck and hauled nineteen kilometers from the village. Waste disposal site operation guidelines are available for the truck operator and identify trench operation procedures and the sequence of operations including digging or excavation of a trench, filling a trench, compacting and covering a layer of waste, trench closure and technical monitoring. During the implementation phase of this project it was critical to maintain a safe distance from the landfill/waste disposal site to the main village in order to secure and protect our groundwater and surface water qualities.

ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY PLAN

If drinking water is reported unsuitable for consumption, a public notice is immediately issued and aired over the local radio station, or bottled water is recommended. A emergency preparedness plan was prepared in accordance with the Federal Emergency Preparedness Act regarding the protection of persons and property in times of disaster. This plan has three objectives:

-to encourage awareness of nature and the consequences of disasters threatening us and what can be done to prevent them or reduce their effects;

-to determine the resources and the plan of action appropriate for our community and the risks to which it is exposed;

-to prepare all resources for effective action through an annual training and exercise program.

COMMUNITY-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

Our first community clean-up is done during the cultural goose-break period and those staying behind participate.

An Environmental Awareness Project is set-up during the summer period to maintain the and clean and tidy community. A landscaping maintenance project is also set-up in the summer periods for grass mowing and trimming, fertilising, flower-bed and shrub maintenance, erosion correction, grass moving for composting or eromat usage, and application of weed control on brick areas in the core of the village.

From our bio-energy heating system a study is expected to occur to convert ashes collected from the sawdust boilers to be used as a fertiliser for lawns and gardens.

ASPECTS THAT MAKE OUR COMMUNITY UNIQUE

Ouje-Bougoumou is special because of its recognition as a UN AWARDED COMMUNITY. It is unique in terms of its conceptualisation in the community layout and installation of BIO-ENERGY and a DISTRICT HEATING SYSTEM. Ouje-Bougoumou harmonises with the environment and is consistent with the traditional Cree philosophy of conservation. The village utilises sawdust or wood waste as biomass which is the source of fuel energy to heat the community houses and buildings. Culturally, the village with its physical appearance and function reflects Cree culture.