NEWS

Consumers Coping Well In Water Shutdown

A survey of the greater Nadi/Lautoka area affected by the massive planned water cut showed that by late yesterday, consumers were coping reasonably well. And, the good news from Water
04 Feb 2018 11:28
Consumers Coping Well In Water Shutdown
A Water Authority of Fiji truck carts water to the tanks at the Port Denarau Marina complex on February 3, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A survey of the greater Nadi/Lautoka area affected by the massive planned water cut showed that by late yesterday, consumers were coping reasonably well.

And, the good news from Water Authority of Fiji yesterday was that the repairs being done at the Nagado Water Treatment plant also went well.

A WAF team which visited the site yesterday reported that repairs to a leaking water valve which led to the shutdown of water supply to these areas was done without a hitch.

A statement from WAF said that repairs would be completed by 7am-8am today and following on from that, reservoirs would be refilled over the next two to three days before water supply could be reverted to normalcy.

A Fiji Sun team toured the area and found out that people were coping well, happy with the supplied water from WAF, and satisfied they had taken heed of weeks of advice on storing enough water for home consumption.

The WAF had placed tanks in strategic locations well before the water cuts were effected.

This helped consumers top up their supply accumulated at home.

On the down side, WAF was concerned with damage being inflicted on these tanks by members of the public. Incidents of this abuse was reported from a Lautoka locality.

The statement from WAF said people were removing water tank connections and fittings. The matter has been reported to Police and, the authority was monitoring the situation.

The authority has requested people to look after these water tanks.

Grateful for water tanks

Jona Toga and his family, of  Nasoso, Nadi, find themselves lucky to be living close to where a tank has been placed by WAF.

Yesterday afternoon Mr Toga, 28, and his nephews were spotted carting water in buckets in between watching rugby sevens matches featuring the Fiji team at Hamilton, New Zealand.

“We are lucky to be near the water tank and we share with the neighbours in the coming days,” Mr Toga said.

“Also we still can watch the 7s game in comfort despite the taps running dry. We thank the Water Authority of Fiji for carting water to us.”

Mr Toga, an electrician understands that the disruption is due to a major maintenance work that is carried out at the Nagado water treatment plant.

“As sensible citizens we need to use this water wisely. We had filled our tanks since last month, and we are also harvesting rain water during these rainy days. Water is an essential to us,” Mr Toga said.

Awareness in villages

Narewa village headman Samuela Tuidraki said more than 1000 villagers under his care have been taught to adopt the self-help attitude.  The village has more than 200 households which are made up of three tribes and 10 clans.

“We have been briefed by WAF last week and it clearly explained the water cuts for the duration and what is expected from the community,” Mr Tuidraki said.

“One of the thoughts stressed was to prepare water for the four days. We have been clearly informed. We have taken this on board and have announced it in the village and stressed it over and over.

“I don’t think there should be any hiccups as the people of Narewa have been prepared and they have bought their own tanks, too.”

WAF has provided a 10,000-litre tank in the village but it is not sufficient, he said.

“That tank won’t be able to serve us all to but we have to assist ourselves first and harvest rain water, too,” Mr Tuidraki said.

Using common sense

Pradeep Kumar, 56, a South Indian priest in Wairabetia, Lautoka, said: “We had invested in water tanks five years ago. We are making use of it now. We are not depending on WAF.  Better to collect water and use sparingly as it is for some time only.”

Commercial needs

Meanwhile, WAF staff were working around the clock yesterday to avoid any hiccups.

Trucks were identified carting water to the households, business houses, resorts on Denarau and the Port Denarau Marina complex. Water resources are expected to be stretched out due to the high demand in Nadi Town and beyond, says the Nadi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Chamber president Dr Ram Raju said the stakeholders had been briefed and understood the issues.

“We are all well aware of the impending water cuts. In a meeting held last week with all the stakeholders, WAF outlined the plans for uninterrupted water supply through tanks that will be placed at most areas for the community as well as the business houses,” Dr Raju said.

WAF, through the various news outlets, had been informing the business community on water supply stations or tanks and a hotline for members to call for assistance.

“One hundred water trucks will be carting water. They will be operating quite regularly and at the same time will try to avoid being on the roads during peak hours,” he said.

“I hope there’ll be minimal disruption to business activities and if members are well prepared then I see no real issues.

“We can expect water resources to be stretched due to the demands that are growing everyday, particularly here in Nadi with numerous developments taking place at a staggering pace.”

The chamber has invited WAF to attend its business forum on February 10 in Nadi to discuss water supply issues for the next five to 20 years and beyond.

Water free flow at Lautoka CBD

Water is expected to be free-flowing at the Lautoka City central business district area during the next three days of the planned water cut.

“Water supply to the Lautoka CBD and the elevated Buabua area will not be interrupted,” a statement from the business community said.

In the coming days part of the elevated Buabua area will receive some water and, may not receive water at all because of the low pressure, the statement added. The other major areas of Lautoka will face water cuts.

Zac Nakavulevu, of Tomuka, said: “I have rationed water for my shower to three buckets. As I need to smell okay and not stinky. At the same time have to look after the water usage, too.”

The source of water supplied to affected areas in Lautoka is from the Saru and Buabua treatment plants and, for some Nadi areas water is supplied from the Vaturu Dam.

Edited by Goerge Kulamaiwasa

Feedback:  lusi.banuve@fijisun.com.fj

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