The Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Vijay Nath (middle) with WAF CEO, Mr Opetaia Ravai and the members of the Uluisavudua community. Photo: SUPPLIED
For the 32 households of Uluisavudua in Sawani, receiving water tanks means they no longer have to fetch water from the creeks.
Last Friday (10th March 2017), the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Vijay Nath together with the WAF CEO, Mr Opetaia Ravai officiated at the water tank celebration in Uluisavudua.
“These water tanks will enable you to conduct your daily activities with ease, without fetching water from far away. You are now able to do your chores, your washing, bathing and cooking by just harvesting rain water from the heavens,” said Hon. Nath.
A total of twenty-five tanks were given to the settlement, at a cost of $21,875.
Assistant Minister Nath said that the Fijian Government, through the Water Authority of Fiji, is working on a long-term plan to ensure all Fijians are able to receive continuous and consistent water supply.
“I thank you all for buying your own gutters and water tank bases, this is approximately equivalent to 30% of the total cost. Well done,” he said.
The Assistant Minister also encouraged members of the settlement to work with the water committee in looking after their water tanks.
“These water committees are in place to empower villagers and community members in taking the initiative in looking after their rural water systems or tanks like the ones placed around outside. If you see the tap on one of these tanks leaking, please, do take the initiative to fix it. It won’t cost you much to repair a tap,” said Hon. Nath.
“Once applications have been vetted, WAF and the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development officials carry out on-site verifications to ensure a stand for the water tank, as well as proper guttering are prepared, before the tanks are supplied,” said WAF CEO, Mr Opetaia Ravai.
Uluisavudua Advisory Councillor, Mr Mahendra Prasad Chaudhary said he was very grateful to the Water Authority of Fiji’s assistance.
“I give a big thanks to the Water Authority for doing very good work for the people here who have not had water for a very long time now, thank you to the Water Authority and a big thanks to the Government,” he said.
“We thank the Water Authority of Fiji for this great assistance. For many years we have been struggling to get water, but now have had help from the Government of the day in supplying these tanks under the Rain Water Harvesting Scheme,” said Nacanieli Draseru, 59, President of the Uluisavudua Water Committee.
Another resident, Mrs Sotiana Tuifagalele, 53, said she has been residing in Uluisavudua since 2012.
“When we came here there were no water tanks, we only used the creek. Part of the creek was used for drinking water, we kept it safe, no body bathed there. The other part of the creek was used for washing and other things.
“The new tanks are a big relief, especially, for us women because we use water for household chores, for drinking and for the children, thank you WAF,” said Mrs Tuifagalele.
WAF is working with the Commissioners’ Offices to empower communities to get their water gutters and tank stands in place.
The Fijian Government had allocated $1.3million for the Free Water Tank and $4.5million for the Rain Water Harvesting schemes.