Nasivikoso villagers benefit from new $218k water project

Caption: Epeli Toutu Navatoga Senior samples water after the commissioning of their Rural Water Project in Nasivikoso. Photo: PACIFIC REACH LIMITED.

June 14, 2017. Five hundred villagers of Nasivikoso, Magodro District in the Province of Ba now have access to piped drinking water after the commissioning of their Rural Water Project last week Friday (16/06).

The $218,646 project, which was outsourced by the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) to Taviraki Building & Civil Works Limited, took seventeen weeks to complete the construction of a new dam, a new 45,460 litre ferro-cement tank, the laying of new mains, and the installation of three air valves, as well as one-hundred-twenty standpipes and showers.

WAF Chief Executive Officer, Mr Opetaia Ravai said the outsourcing model that the Authority is now implementing empowers the community by paying the water committee for the village support required to undertake the works.

“This empowers the Water Committee to be responsible for ongoing maintenance and repairs, thus ensuring the longevity and sustainability of their village water supply system. This also builds the local capacity of contractors to undertake water supply construction work. For this project, the village water committee will receive $4,550 as payment for the village assistance provided,” said Mr Ravai.

After commissioning the project, the Tui Magodro, Ratu Simione Vutevute, 61, said, “In the past we had no water and during heavy rain, the old water system would get blocked, due to the debris and mud. This project will also benefit the women in the village as they are the major users of water and it will also make life easier for us in terms of the daily chores. I am thankful that the water has finally reached my village. I am thankful to the Water Authority of Fiji for the project.”

(L-R) WAF’s Regional Manager for the Western Division, Mr Romuluse Mataitoga, the Tui Magodro, Ratu Simione Vutevute, Nasivikoso Village Headman, Epeli Toutu Navatoga, and 12-year-old Iliana Tuqiri (center).

Nasivikoso Village Headman, Epeli Toutu Navatoga, 34, said, “We have been having water issues for the past eight years, ever since I was appointed village headman. When our old system failed, we had to resort to the river. I am really grateful to the Water Authority of Fiji, and especially to the head of Government, the Honourable Prime Minister, and to the hands that assisted in this project in making it a success.”

Villager, Ms Sulueti Bakabaka, 36, said she and other women in the village of Nasivikoso are grateful to the assistance through the water project.

“In the past, we mothers used to fetch water from the creek in the evenings for us to consume in the morning.  At times we had to wait until 10 or 11pm for us to fetch water because of the animals that cross the river. We are now very happy. This project will now help us in the preparation of meals and other daily chores. We are also overjoyed because the water is available at every doorstep in our village,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mr Ravai said WAF would continue to implement works that ensure Fijians have access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation.

“These tanks surely have helped us to overcome our water supply problems and we have placed them at specific locations within the village for easy access by everyone,” Mr Rokolala said.