NATION

Tobuniqio Villagers Happy With Tanks

Villagers of Tobuniqio village in Tailevu will not have to struggle to get water anymore. This is after the village received 14 water tanks from Water Authority of Fiji (WAF)
01 Feb 2017 10:20
Tobuniqio Villagers Happy With Tanks
Water Authority of Fiji chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai (garland), with villagers of Tobuniqio, at one of the water tanks supplied to the village.

Villagers of Tobuniqio village in Tailevu will not have to struggle to get water anymore.

This is after the village received 14 water tanks from Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) under the Rain Water Harvesting and Free Water Tank Scheme.

Village Turaga-ni-Koro Villime Vulawalu, 65, said: “For many years our village had faced water problems and finally today (yesterday), our prayer has been answered.

“We are feeling so happy. I would like to thank the Fijian Government and WAF for installing tanks in our village and hearing our plea.

“There are 45 households in Tobuniqio village and the 14 tanks will be shared between two to three houses,” he said.

Mr Vulawalu said their village used to get water from a water tank which was about several kilometres away from their village. Their water pipes are connected to the tank. The villagers have been using rain water for many years.

“When it’s drought season or dry period we have difficulties in getting water.

“Sometime, the water is really dirty and we somehow have to manage with that water,” he said.

Mr Vulawalu said they applied to WAF Free Water Tank Scheme last year.

“Our children face difficulties in going to school when there is no water or water is dirty.

“So, whenever anyone from the village is going towards Nausori, they take buckets with them and we save that water for our difficult days,” he said.

WAF chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai said: “Water tanks would be placed in communities around the country that have been facing intermittent supply in both metered and non- metered areas.

“The Rain Water Harvesting scheme is for Fijians facing water problems in both rural and urban intermittent areas.

“The WAF is has received a total of 2658 applications. So far, 279 applicants have met the requirements and they should be receiving their water tanks soon.

“Out of the 279 approved applications, six applications are from metered customers,” he said.

Mr Ravai said under the Free Water Tank Scheme, a total of 325 villagers were entitled to apply, 67 villages have been inspected so far and to date, 11 villages have met the requirements.

“Due to dry spells experienced over the years, water sources in some rural areas, non-metered areas have dried, forcing some communities to ration the use of water while others have resorted to other traditional sources.

“WAF and Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development officials are carrying out the verifications of application,” he said.

Mr Ravai said once applications have been vetted, they will then arrange for verification on site.

“The requirements are to have a stand for the water tank, as well as proper guttering in place, before we supply the tanks. We will not give out the water tanks until the requirements have been met.

“WAF is working with the Commissioners’ Offices in regards to the empowering of communities to mobilise and get their water gutters and tank stands in place for inspection,” he said.

Mr Ravai said they started with this project last year and the Fijian Government has allocated $1.3 million for the Free Water Tank and $4.5 million for the Rain Water Harvesting scheme.

The applications for these schemes can be downloaded from the WAF website of collected from any WAF Customer Care office.

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

 



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