Call To PM To Change WAF Board: Radrodro

Mr Radrodro said the constitution grants every Fijian clean and safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities.
03 Sep 2020 09:31
Call To PM To Change WAF Board: Radrodro
Opposition Member of Parliament Aseri Radrodro outside Parliament on September 1, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Aseri Radrodro has called on the Prime Minister to change the Board of Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) following the recent water cut on August 30 along the Suva-Nausori corridor.

He made the call on September 1, 2020, while responding to the Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate’s Parliament statement on the burnt Automatic Transfer Switch at Waila Treatment Plant.

Mr Radrodro said the constitution grants every Fijian clean and safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities.

He said the water cut showed laxity on the government’s part through the Minister to oversee the maintenance and rehabilitation of all water resources to be done efficiently and adequately when it is due.

“We cannot afford to be carrying dead weight. As long as people are not delivering up to standard they must be removed,” Mr Radrodro said.

National Federation Party MP Lenora Qereqeretabua shared the same sentiments.

She said due to cost cutting measures it is understood that WAF has approximately 10 to 12 water cartage trucks on stand-by delivering water to one third of the population who live between Suva and Nausori.

“If this is true, why is the Chairperson and his Board remaining conveniently silent during this time of chaos? They should be sacked because this is what happens when the Board cannot table Annual Reports on time and Parliament cannot scrutinize what they are doing with taxpayer’s funds,” Ms Qereqeretabua said.

Meanwhile, Mr Usamate briefed Parliament on the events that led to the water disruptions.

He said after the fault was detected by the National Control Center (NCC) at 10.58am on Sunday WAF shutdown all five raw water pumps that serve the Waila Water Treatment Plant.

“The ATS was installed back in 2010 as part of outsourced works which included the upgrading of the electrical components of the Waila Raw Water Pumping Station,” Mr Usamate said.

“The purpose of the ATS is to provide an automatic change over in the event of a power outage from mains power provided by EFL to generator power maintained by WAF. The generators serve as a backup during a power outage.”

Investigations into the root cause of the initial fault are currently ongoing and will include an independent assessment which the Chief Executive Officer of WAF has already instigated.

Furthermore, he encouraged WAF customers to be resilient by investing in their own storage capacity, capable of providing at least two days of water supply.

“Just because water is very affordable in Fiji, we must never take it for granted or use water exorbitantly. We must all make a conscious decision to use water wisely to ensure that generations after us will also enjoy the availability and accessibility of water services.”

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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