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Bala: Access To Water Is A Must

Bala: Access To Water Is A Must
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Parveen Bala with residents of Lawaki, Lautoka on July 30, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra.
August 01
11:32 2018

Water is a basic need therefore providing access to people is the core initiative by the Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport.

“Whether it’s an informal settlement or a formal settlement Government will ensure that we reach out and provide water to the people,” Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala said.

People of Lawaki Settlement in Lautoka had the first hand opportunity to also meet and discuss their problems with Mr Bala on Monday evening at a local residential hall.

Mr Bala said Goverment had carried out an extension project, which was successfully completed.

“We have spent around $160,000 to get piped water to your houses,” he said.

“All those, who missed out are to please make sure. before you leave this meeting, to give your names and we will make sure that you also have access to water at your place.”

Mr Bala said that informal settlements generally faced major challenges in getting access to clean drinking water.

“As far as this Government is concerned, it will provide for everybody,” the minister said.

Another issue raised by the people was  drainage works in the area.

A resident said their  drains were not deep enough to accommodate the flow of water and always got flooded during heavy rain.

The resident also said that in some areas there was no drainage work

Mr Bala assured residents of the settelement that the work would be undertaken by Fiji Roads Authority (FRA).

Outages in electricity was another concern raised by residents to which Mr Bala assured that the Department of Energy and  Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) would look into the matter.

Some people highlighted problems relating to their lease agreements.

Mr Bala said a lot of initiatives had been put in place by the Government in order to formalise settlements.

“The most important thing is that you need to have a proper lease,” he said.

Resident and Coral Cord Committee president, Ratu Peni Werebanivau, said  he was really happy to see the minister taking the time to meet and talk to the people.

“It was a fruitful meeting and I thank the minister for coming down to us,” Mr Werebanivau said.

He also commended efforts by the Government to help residents.

Another resident, Sanjeev Kumar, 39, was happy to have attended the meeting and was hopeful that issues he raised would be looked into.

Edited by Percy Kean



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