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#Vote2018: Settlers praise water initiative

#Vote2018: Settlers praise  water initiative
From left, Advisory Councillor for Marasa and Arolevu in Nadi, Krishna Kumar with his aunt, Vidya Wati, uncle, Hari Charan and cousin, Ishwar Chand at their home in Arolevu , Nadi on 29 March 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
April 01
12:09 2018

Seventy-five-year-old Vidhya Wati vividly remembers the first day she set foot at Arolevu Settlement in Nadi after marrying her husband.

The mother-of-six said one of the struggles she faced daily for decades was fetching water from a nearby well carrying a 20 litre gallon on her head by foot for more than 30 minutes.

But this changed through the FijiFirst Government. Ms Wati said they now had access to clean water in the comfort of their own homes.

Her family is among others who now have access to tap water through a project under the Water Authority of Fiji worth $250,000, which started three years ago.

“Just imagine, walking more than 30 minutes with a 20-litre gallon of water on your head. For males it might be normal, but for us women it was so difficult for us. We had no choice back then,” Ms Wati said.

“We have been doing this since before the FijiFirst Government came into power. All the women in this area would walk to the well near a creek here to fetch water after helping their husbands in the sugarcane farm.”

After years of waiting, Ms Wati said her family finally had access to tap water after her grandchildren were born.

“Government provided water tanks and boreholes while they were fixing the taps in our homes. This is after the fourth generation of my husband’s family. I am so blessed to be able to witness this day,” she added.

Her husband, 79-year-old Hari Charan, said they have been married for more than 20 years and the new water taps marked a new beginning for their family.

“I still remember when we were little one of the things our mothers and aunts use to complain about was water problems. Sometimes after our father returned from work they had to go fetch well water for cooking dinner at around 8pm,” he said.

Edited by Epineri Vula


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