NATION

Crisis Deppens

The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) is addressing a number of issues in relation to the ongoing dry spell. Authority chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai said yesterday 20,000 people from
21 Sep 2014 08:52
Crisis Deppens
Guests at the opening of the Sosha Lounge at Carnavon Street, Suva, on October 28,2020. Photo: Elena Lauwai

The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) is addressing a number of issues in relation to the ongoing dry spell.

Authority chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai said yesterday 20,000 people from 4000 homes in selected areas in Suva would be receiving water through their taps on alternate days.

He said on the days that they did not receive water from the taps they would receive water from water trucks.DRY-SPELL-3

He said this was a necessary measure because of the ongoing dry spell affecting the country.

“Suva is served by a number of water catchment areas; each is supplied primarily by rivers and that is the problem,” Mr Ravai said.

“With this drought some rivers continue to flow abundantly while others are providing much less water than usual to these catchment areas and that is affecting those areas listed in the attachment.”

Presently he said they had dropped more than 30 per cent in the catchment areas, which was a significant loss  affecting about 4000 homes in the Lami/Delainavesi areas.

For Taveuni they would soon install three desalination plants that will provide sufficient water to the island.  The installation should be finished in October.

According to Mr Ravai, there is no time frame when alternative water supply will be finished; it will all depend on when normal rainfall resumes. If the weather continues and if the water level drops by a further 20 per cent then serious water restrictions will be considered.

He said the drought was not restricted to Fiji but was a serious problem facing the South-West Pacific and in many countries throughout the world.

“All of Fiji is facing this drought that meteorologists are predicting will last through until January next year,” Mr Ravai said.

In the Western Division, relevant stakeholders from the agricultural sector and essential service providers will meet at Commissioner Western’s office in Lautoka tomorrow to discuss contingency plans for the long dry spell.

Acting Commissioner Western Luke Moroivalu said they would discuss the impact of the prolonged dry spell and put in place a plan to combat it.

He said stakeholders would be presenting their assessments and then they would plan strategies.

“We will be meeting with Police, Water Authority of Fiji, National Fire Authority, Fiji Sugar Corporation, Health Ministry, Education Ministry and the Fiji Electricity Authority,’’ he said.

Despite the prolonged dry spell, Mr Moroivalu said water levels at the Vaturu Dam in Nadi and Nibutani Dam in Lautoka have yet to reach critical levels but he was urging the public to use water sparingly.

Meanwhile acting Commmissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said they had already put in place a contingency plan and had started carting water to the affected areas.

The long dry spell has forced the people of Yaroi Village in Matuku, Lau to ration their water.

Speaking from the village yesterday, the wife of the village headman (turaga-ni-koro), Sokowasa Bose, said they had been advised to use water wisely.

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