Analysis

Rewa River Project Brings Fiji To A More Advanced Future

He said the scheme was the latest milestone in a vision - a vision that imagines a Fiji far bigger, far better and far more advanced than today – all for the benefit and well-being of our people.
12 Apr 2019 16:17
Rewa River Project Brings Fiji To A More Advanced Future
Water Authority of Fiji chairperson Bhavesh Kumar (seated left), and Ji Xiayong of Sinohydro-HDEC JV sign the contract for the Rewa River Water Supply Scheme in the pres- ence of the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Grand Pacific Hotel on April 11, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says more than 300,000 Fijians stand to benefit from an $855 million investment in the Rewa River Water Supply Project.

He says they will enjoy more reliable access to clean water and lead healthier lives.

Yesterday he signed at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva two contracts valued at $266 million to cover the design, construction and operation of the scheme.

He said the scheme was the latest milestone in a vision – a vision that imagines a Fiji far bigger, far better and far more advanced than today – all for the benefit and well-being of our people.

He said this Rewa River Water Supply project was only one piece of a massive Urban Water Supply and Waste Water Management Project undertaken by his Government.

“Thanks to new advancements in the management of wastewater.”

He said they would be signing more agreements in the near future to advance those projects, and they looked forward to continuing their close work with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and Green Climate Fund (GCF) and their other development partners to make it happen.

He said past Governments when carrying out developments acted for today, without thinking for tomorrow.

“It only takes a drive around Suva to realise very quickly that not every government used to consider the long-term realities of our nation’s development.

Our roads weren’t originally designed to be widened and expanded; basic services infrastructure wasn’t designed for future growth; and trends in demographic movements weren’t factored into decision-making,” he said.

In many cases, he said, those over- sights made present developments far more expensive than they ought to be.

However, he said his Government was no longer making those same mistakes. “We’re thinking about the Fiji of 2019, we’re thinking about the Fiji of 2020, and we’re thinking about the Fiji of 2030, 2040 and many years and decades beyond.”

Government, he said, had set out the vision for this project, they had put the funding in place, but it would take consistent and stringent project management to see this initiative over the finish line.

“This project is far too important for my Government to tolerate the loss of precious time to delays and mismanagement. We’ve been twice elected by the Fijian people for the reason that we are a government that consistently delivers on our promises. And we expect to deliver – as promised – on the development of this new scheme.”

He said their commitment to supplying clean water applied to every Fijian, everywhere in the country.

From the most densely populated urban centres to the most remote pockets of Fiji, they were working to ensure that accessing clean water was never a struggle.

“That is why Government has allocated historic funding towards the development of resilient water infrastructure in urban, rural and maritime regions of the country, including water

tanks and rainwater harvesting systems,” he said.

The completion of stage one of this scheme he said would add a minimum production capacity of 40 megalitres per day to Fiji’s national network of water infrastructure.

This new water system he said would be built in such a way that production could be further expanded as demand continued to grow.

Stage two of construction will double the system’s capacity to 80 megalitres per day, and stage three will enable this systems to generate, at minimum, 100 megalitres of water in a day.

“Even when we are beset by drought conditions, that water will continue to flow and the needs of our people will

continue to be met. Even when we are besieged by future storms, this new system will be built to a high standard of resilience that can withstand the increasing frequency and ferocity of cyclones.”

Yesterday’s signing was closing the door on a future of water scarcity and poor water quality for the Suva-Nausori corridor and government was laying a strong foundation for a new Fijian future, he said.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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