Joseph Shecapio-Blacksmith, LEA
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.
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.
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
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.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS & PROJECTS
Our first community clean-up is done during the cultural goose-break period
and those staying behind participate.
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.
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.