DVD Kalo Paa O Waiahole

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Na Maka o Ka Aina
Format: DVD

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Kalo Pa’a o Waiahole – Hard Taro of Waiahole

This program explores the issues surrounding the allocation of water that flows in the Waiahole Ditch on the island of O’ahu in the Hawaiian Islands. The title comes from an old saying referring to the stubbornness of the people of Waiahole valley. This program documents their determination to regain the water that was taken from them in the early 1900’s for the sugar plantations.

In the one-hour documentary, stream ecosystems are seen close up during a visit to Waiahole stream with two young Hawaiians who gather ‘opae, a native shrimp. The ‘o’opu, or goby, and its special qualities are studied by aquatic biologists at Hakalau stream, while ocean fishermen describe the important connection between the health of the streams and that of the surrounding coastal areas.

The link between water and the cultivation of taro, the staple food of Native Hawaiians, is brought out through a historical look at what happened to the windward valleys, streams and communities in 1916 when the Waiahole Ditch first began to transport water to the leeward plantations. Today’s taro growers call for returning the water so that the extensive agricultural systems developed by earlier Hawaiians can once again produce food for local residents, who now import 75 percent of their food.

The battle over the ditch water includes developers on the leeward side of O’ahu who want the water for golf courses and commercial and resort development. Issues such as limiting growth, recycling sewage effluent and preserving family-based agriculture are addressed by community members and public officials alike.

Native Hawaiian tradition and law regarding the use of water are presented as a background to understanding contemporary law and recent court rulings. The impact that a future sovereign nation will have on how water resources will be managed in Hawai’i wraps up the one-hour special.

Appearing: Kia Fronda; Calvin, Charlene and Liko Hoe; Kaipo Faris; Charlie Reppun; Robert Nishimoto; Bryson Fernandez; Albert Badiyo; Marion Kelly; Nohealani Wallace; Kalani Apuakehau; Katherine Vandemoer; Jim Anthony.

Also: Kawai and Kala Hoe; Kamaehu Apuakehau; Tommy Young; Kina’u Kamali’i; Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa; Ipo Tano; Eric Enos; Guy Nakamoto; Herbert Hoe; Meala Bishop; George Hudes; John Reppun; Denise Antolini; Ira Rohter; David Martin; Robert Nakata; John Kilbey; Jimmy Todd; Zun Ibaca; Consortia Basan; Arlene Eaton; Rodolfo Ramos; Yukio Kitagawa; Bruce Anderson; Jack Keppeler; Chester Lao; William Paty; Herman Lemke; George Liu; Rae Loui; Kanamu Kanekoa; Nicole McInerny; Bert Hatton; Ron Albu; Ed Sakoda; James Nakatani; Michael Wilson.

Produced by Na Maka o ka ‘Aina in association with the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council.
Executive Producer: Elizabeth Ho’oipo Pa
Music by Peter Medeiros
Still photographs: Anne Kapulani Landgraf

Length: 59 minutes
1995