The $306.9million allocated to the Water Authority of Fiji announced by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last night has been welcomed by the entity.
WAF Chief Executive Officer Mr Opetaia Ravai says the new 2017-2018 Budget allocation increase of $56.5 million clearly reflects Governments seriousness towards improving an infrastructure critical to delivering basic clean water and sanitation services to all Fijians.
WAF’s budgetary allocation is made up of $89.5 million to be used for operating costs with $217.4 million set aside for capital expenditure.
$14.7 million will be used for improvements and upgrades toexisting water treatment plants while $57.3 million is set aside for water distribution systems to satisfy growing demand.
Mr Ravai said given the projected steady economic growth, more significant investments in our water and sewage infrastructure will be needed as we try and keep up with that growth.
“Continued water infrastructure improvement is critical to meeting future demands, especially in the rapidly expanding and high population growth areas such as the Suva/Nausori and Nadi/Lautoka corridors,” said Mr Ravai.
“Major capital works to be implemented in the coming year also includes the replacements of ageing bulk trunk lines, and further funding of $57.3 million will no doubt boost water distribution as well as further improve water treatment quality to non-metered areas such as rural areas,” said Mr Ravai.
$36.2 million will be invested into improving the urban water development and waste management including works for expanding water capacity in the greater Suva area.
As part of that a new 40 million litter treatment plant will also be constructed in Viria, Rewa.
Mr Ravai says the new budgetary allocation adds momentum for further progress as WAF drives towards achieving its strategic objectives.
“Now with full budgetary backing reflecting Government’s very own long term commitment to clean water and sanitation, we expect to continually engage suitably qualified local and overseas contractors to help us deliver world class infrastructure projects for the benefit of all our citizens,” Mr Ravai said.
The unprecedented budgetary allocation for rural water supply also further cements the Fiji First Bainimarama Governments absolute commitment towards improving the lives of all our Fijians in rural communities.
WAF supplies drinking water and wastewater services to more than 148,000 residential and non-residential metered customers, reaching more than 800,000 people, including those in outer islands.