A water crisis is now affecting the six hundred residents of Southern Taveuni. The area’s borehole, its main source of water, has dried up with ongoing dry weather conditions adding to the crisis.
“We are presently carting water to the region on a daily basis, but it is obvious that we must find a more permanent solution but unfortunately this will take time,” said Water Authority Chief Executive Officer, Opetaia Ravai.
He said that all other parts of the island have sufficient water; it is only Southern Taveuni that is in a crisis.
As an interim answer, he said, WAF has purchased a desalinisation plant that will arrive in the country shortly. It will be positioned in the area and should alleviate the fresh water problem in the short term.
“What the plant does is change sea water into fresh safe drinking water. It is very expensive to operate, especially because of its high level of fuel consumption, but the first priority is ensure the residents have a reliable source of drinking water.”
The permanent solution is to find an alternative source of water and the WAF has sited two locations that could replace the borehole. It is working with the Ministry of Mineral Resources to progress drilling exploration towards this end.
“Southern Taveuni has been provided water from the borehole for years and there is no absolute explanation of why it has dried up,” said Mr. Ravai.
He said that one theory is that the rock structure around the borehole has shifted allowing the water to escape.
“But whatever the reason a permanent solution will be found,” he said.