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Health

EPA grants Tununak $6.4M to install running water

tununak.jpg
Andrew Pokryzwinski
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Aerial view of Tununak, Alaska.

The Native village of Tununak is getting a big public health upgrade. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is granting the village over $6.4 million to install running water.

Tununak is a village of about 400 people on the coast of Western Alaska. Currently, no home has running water. Instead, people use honey buckets and haul water from the community’s water plant.

Tununak Tribal Administrator Xavier Post said that the federal grant would allow the village to install running water in every home. Residents can look forward to running faucets, flush toilets, showers, and washing machines.

Approximately 3,300 homes in rural Alaska still lack running water and flushing toilets, which can cause severe skin infections and respiratory diseases. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that an additional $1.8 billion is needed to address this public health problem.

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