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Dry Spell Taking Its Toll In The West

Dry Spell Taking Its Toll In The West
A dried up culvert in Mulomulo , Nadi as a result of the recent dry spell on 25 August 2018. PHOTO: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA
August 26
11:37 2018

The recent drr weather experienced in the Western Division has had a drastic impact on islands in the maritime zone.

This was confirmed by the Assistant District Officer for Lautoka and Yasawa Elisha Joshua.

Mr Joshua said it was a serious concern for those affected as it has had other negative consequences such as the closure of health centres and schools.

“These schools and health centres were closed for most of the day because of the shortage of clean water,” Mr Joshua said.

“Many staff working in these areas were returning to the mainland because of the water woes.”

Mr Joshua said 120,000 litres of water had been delivered, to Yanuya Nursing Station and Namamanuca Primary School as well as for villagers residing at Yanuya Island, on Wednesday.

“Therefore after an assessment by the District Office team, an urgent distribution of water was delivered to affected areas,” Mr Joshua said.

“More places and stations will be provided with water in the coming days.

“We expect to carry 120,000 litres of water to Waya Island today.

“The same barge used on Wednesday will cart water to other affected areas.”

The main priority for authorities will be schools and health centres.

Many areas in the mainland of the Western Division have also been affected.

However, the Water Authority of Fiji is assisting people.

Farmers in Lautoka have started to feel the effects of the drought that seems to be getting worse by the day.

A farmer and a resident of Lovu Lautoka, Jone Naqatosere, said the recent dry spell had taken its toll on his farm.

“All our cassava plants and other crops have been affected by this dry weather,” Mr Naqatosere said.

“And there are no proper grazing areas left for our cattle because grassland had turned brown and dry.

“We do not have any grass even for the cows to graze on. So we had to cut sugarcane leaves and toppings twice a day just to feed our cows,” he said.

Mr Naqatosere said they had been using a borehole for their water source.

This was also drying up.

He is hopeful the dry spell will end soon to allow for the better growth of crops and enough water for cattle to survive on.

Edited by Percy Kean

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