NATION

Women Show Joy in Water Tanks Arrival in Traditional Welcome Performance

Women were on the beach, waving banners made of tapa The women of Bouwaqa Village performed the traditional welcoming ceremony, cere, as the Government vessel Sigavou approached the Nadroga island
19 Aug 2017 11:18
Women Show Joy in Water Tanks Arrival in Traditional Welcome Performance
Women perform the cere, the traditional welcome ceremony on the Bouwaqa Village beach during the arrival of Water Authority of Fiji staff members and the tanks. Photo: Water Authority of Fiji

Women were on the beach, waving banners made of tapa

The women of Bouwaqa Village performed the traditional welcoming ceremony, cere, as the Government vessel Sigavou approached the Nadroga island of Vatulele.

The villagers were on the beach, waving banners made of tapa to perform the ceremony for the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) representatives who brought 60 water tanks that they were delivering to the island. The women later presented the WAF team with the tapa (traditional cloth made from mulberry bark) to show the villagers’ appreciation.

Fifty of the tanks were designated for Bouwaqa Village and 10 were for the village of Lomanikaya under the Government initiative, the Rain Water Harvesting Scheme, which began earlier this year.

The new tanks were a welcome relief for the 172 residents of Bouwaqa Village, as they had been using a water-rationing scheme, with each household receiving 60 litres on Saturdays and 60 litres on Wednesdays. This was because only nine existing water tanks, made of concrete, were still in use. The other tanks that used to serve the village’s water needs were cracked, leaking and no longer of use. The villagers do not have a reliable source of water, but have been able to supplement their water needs from two nearby springs.

Upon receiving the water tanks, Bouwaqa Village headman, Lasarusa Nukusere, said, “This is one happy moment for everyone here in Bouwaqa. We did not have any definite source of fresh water and whenever we experienced a drought we had to go and bath in the sea and drink the green coconut to satisfy our thirst. Today we know our worry and cries have been heard by the present Government that is leading us.”

Mr Nukusere said that from the time they heard that the water tanks would be delivered by WAF representatives, “the whole village was rejoicing,” and instead of the monthly village meetings, extra meetings took place to organise a special welcome.

“We are so overwhelmed by this great development the Government has provided for our village, and we would like to mention our greatest appreciation for all these water tanks as it will also help us to send our children to school everyday,” said Mr Nukusere.

Source: Water Authority of Fiji

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