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Rosi Doviverata: Water Supply Distribution Must Be Equal To Affected Areas During Disruptions

The lesson here for Water Authority of Fiji is to supply sufficient water to all areas affected and not just some.
10 Feb 2020 12:19
Rosi Doviverata: Water Supply Distribution Must Be Equal To Affected Areas During Disruptions

Editorial:

Water supply disruptions experienced in parts of Nasinu and Suva over the past few days have caused a lot of frustration among residents living in the densely populated corridor.

While the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) did its best to inform residents of the impending disruptions through its social media platforms and traditional media, many were just not aware and, as a result, unprepared.

The Authority had outlined the reasons for the disruptions in supply – a burst DN600 bulk main that feeds treated water from the Waila Water Treatment Plant to the Wainibuku main distribution reservoir.

The statement was widely circulated late on Thursday afternoon.

By Friday morning many employers felt the brunt of the disruptions with staff not turning up to work. Some businesses had to close as a result.

Some took to social media to express their disappointments. Others shared of practical ways they used water.

The taps along the seawall at My Suva Picnic Park were lined with cars and Fijians with their bottles and buckets to fill up.

According to the World Health Organisation, a person needs between 50 and 100 litres of water a day to ensure that his or her most basic personal and health needs are met.

For Fijians, this is included in the 2013 Constitution under the Bill of Rights, Right to Adequate Food and Water.

Back to the water disruptions late last week, those affected were disappointed and frustrated that water trucks that are supposed to supply water during such times did not turn up.

WAF insisted that 15 water trucks serviced the affected areas.

But residents in Raiwai and Raiwaqa never saw any water trucks or water tanks in their neighbourhood.

Some residents then took it upon themselves to open the fire hydrant nearby. Children were the first to enjoy the flowing water.

While this opened hydrant brought relief to many living in the area, it was frowned upon by the authorities as it disturbed the water supply restoration efforts.

But what does one do when dishes were not washed, toilets were dirty, unwashed clothes were piled up and there were sticky children and frustrated adults to deal with?

People would naturally take things into their own hands.

WAF last night issued a statement that they were carrying out emergency repairs to two fire hydrants damaged after being illegally accessed.

The lesson here for WAF is to supply sufficient water to all areas affected and not just some.

Water is an essential part of our lives. We can live without electricity for a day or even weeks – but not water.

Feedbackrosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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