NATION

Three Naitasiri Villages Benefit from Rural Water Project

With the commissioning of their Rural Water Project recently, more than 1000 Fijians living in the villages of Navatukia, Waikalou, and Vunidawa in the district of Soloira in Naitasiri will
31 Dec 2016 11:00
Three Naitasiri Villages Benefit from Rural Water Project
Ratu Peceli Ro Seru Tuisese cuts the ribbons to commission the Rural Water Project. Photo: Water Authority

With the commissioning of their Rural Water Project recently, more than 1000 Fijians living in the villages of Navatukia, Waikalou, and Vunidawa in the district of Soloira in Naitasiri will no longer rely on the previous intermittent water supply.

The water project, which cost a total of $426,020, supplies piped water to an additional four settlements as well as to four dairy farms. It also caters for the 200 school children who attend the Soloira District School, and provides water for seven teachers’ quarters.

“The village has a very big demand in water which resulted in a survey that was conducted by officials.

“In 2014, we discovered a new water source from the Sovi basin, which is the Wainimala River and is about 9.3kilometres from the main road to the source,” explained the chairman of the Soloira Rural Water Committee, Mesake Rasau.

The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) contracted Taviraki Building and Civil Works Limited to carry out the project, which included the construction of a ferro-cement 20,000 gallon tank, the laying of a 20kilometre pipeline and the provision of reticulation connections, as well as fifty standpipes and showers for the villagers. The work was carried out with the assistance of the Soloira Rural Water Committee.

WAF chief executive officer, Mr Opetaia Ravai, said the outsourcing model that the authority was now empowering the community by paying the Water Committee to organise the labour required to undertake the works, and to be responsible for ongoing maintenance and repairs, thus ensuring the longevity and sustainability of their village water supply system.

“Further, it builds the local capacity of contractors to undertake water supply construction work. For this project, the village water committee received $8,500 as payment for the labour provided,” said Mr Ravai.

The chief of Soloira, Ratu Peceli Ro Seru Tuisese, 80, said, “This is the biggest thing that has ever happened in this village, after so many years.

“Water is the life of people. I am 80-years-old of age now and I am really happy for this, and this may even make me live even longer with the provision of this water.

“I thank the men and all the hands that have contributed to this water project, even though they took the challenge of not eating and sleeping well and even camping up in the jungle. I thank them very much, we are really happy. I thank the Government of the day and the Honourable Prime Minister for the assistance,” said Ratu Tuisese.

Meanwhile, the Authority’s regional manager Water Development Affairs, Vula Vakacegu reminded the villagers to look after the water pipes and to use water wisely.

“Always ensure that you keep your surroundings clean and tidy at all times and this has to be done from the water dam and the source up to the pipes in order to maintain your water system. I thank you for your hard work in making this project a success,” said Mr Vakacegu, who also advised them the necessary criteria to be met, in order to apply for the Water Harvesting Scheme.

Mr Ravai said the WAF would continue to implement works that will ensure Fijians have access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation.

Source: Water Authority of Fiji

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