From left: WAF’s Rural and Maritime Development Affairs Representative, Mr Rupeni Radio; WAF’s Manager for Rural and Maritime Development Affairs, Mr Vula Vakacegu; Yanuca Island Project Leading Hand, Mr Koresi Radio; and Yanuca Village Headman, Mr Aisake Talili, during an inspection around the village. Photo: WAF

Two hundred villagers of Yanuca Island have expressed their gratitude for the Water Authority of Fiji and their assistance.

The $93,547 project saw the repair of forty-six rota tanks, eleven cement water tanks in the village, five in the Yanuca Island Primary School compound, and the installation of twelve 5,000-litre water tanks.

While speaking to the villagers in their community hall, WAF’s Manager for Rural and Maritime Development Affairs, Mr Vula Vakacegu, reminded the villagers of the importance of establishing a water committee.

“Your water committee must be active and consistently looking out for leakages in the tanks, guttering’s and other pipe fittings, and you must keep funds to help repair these leakages. It is my humble plea that you look into this so that these tanks last long and that they are kept safe.”

“Also, it is imperative that during your village meetings, you discuss avenues to generate funding that can be set aside and used if a leak is identified or for any repair work needed for these tanks. It is very important that we learn how to conserve and preserve this God given gift, water,” said Mr Vakacegu.

Villager, Mrs Talica Leno, originally from Namatakula Village, was grateful to the Water Authority of Fiji for the water tanks, as well as the repair works that were conducted.

“In the past, we always suffered from water problems. We used to rely on the little well for our washing, cooking and drinking. Before, we used to ration water and ask each other for a bucket of water, just to go about our daily lives. This is now in the past after the WAF team stepped in to repair our tanks – we now have an abundance of water,” said Mrs Leno.

Another Villager, Mrs Salote Tamisa, 51, said that for the last 50 years, the whole village used to rely on one water tank located next to the village church.

“We are really grateful for the assistance. Most families now have two water tanks for their storage and usage. It is a very big relief for us, especially for us women. Nowadays, we hardly see women carrying buckets of water over the hill to fetch water, because we have our own water tanks to harvest water from the sky and, with just a turn of a tap, we have clean water to drink and wash,” said Mrs Tamisa.

Yanuca Village Headman, Mr Aisake Talili, said there was no longer a water problem for him and his villagers.

“Ever since I took up the position as village headman, and even since our forefathers time here in the village, we have suffered from water issues. We have even gone to the extent of carting water from Viti Levu.”

Yanuca Island Primary School also benefited from the repairs that were conducted by the WAF team.

“When there is no water, we have no option but to close the school down. This will no longer happen and we are grateful for the assistance with the repairs of the water tanks around the school compound, including the teacher’s quarters,” said Mr Talili.

The project lasted for  a duration of twelve weeks, ending last week Friday (17/11/17).