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Minister Applauds WAF For First National Water Forum

Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar applauded the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) for organising the first Fiji National Water Forum yesterday. Mr Kumar thanked
26 Jan 2017 11:00
Minister Applauds WAF For First National Water Forum
Participants of the forum at the Novotel Hotel in Lami yesterday. Photo: DEPTFO

Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar applauded the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) for organising the first Fiji National Water Forum yesterday.

Mr Kumar thanked the board members of WAF for organising the forum.

He said the ministry would support such initiatives gladly.

Mr Kumar added the forum would allow stakeholders in the water sector to discuss water issues at the national level.

“There are still areas and places where our brothers and sisters do not have access to clean and safe water and that is the challenge I want to put to you,” Mr Kumar said.

“I want you to discuss thoroughly and come to a resolution and see how those places where they don’t have clean and safe water be reached.”

Mr Kumar added the FijiFirst Government had provided assistance to communities in rural areas and low income earners so they could access clean water supply.

“Government has offered support in rainwater harvesting assistance program and it is the communities that need to capitalise on this opportunity,” he said.

“In 2015, Government introduced a free water allowance of 250 litres per household per day to assist poor and low income earners.”

Water Authority of Fiji chief executive Opetaia Ravai said funding was a major challenge for WAF.

“Every year, we have to go back to the Government and present plans, present our infrastructure program for the year so we have to convince them,” Mr Ravai said.

“We have a good working relationship with the Government, and we have $200 – $300 million given to operate water utility to invest in our infrastructure, replace old pipes.

“Every year we will be doing that so we can prioritise and do the best we can with the money that we are allocated.”

The forum was held at the Novotel Hotel in Lami.

 

Aim of Forum

The forum is aims to promote knowledge sharing on national and global water challenges and solutions.

It was aimed at meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The main emphasis was on SDG 6, which is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

It was also to enhance sector coordination and governance.

Edited by: Ivamere Nataro



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