Media Release - WAF To Take Action Against Contractors Who Mistreat Fijians
The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) is now investigating some companies contracted to provide water carting services in Fiji's Northern Division after several complaints were made alleging discriminatory behaviour towards Fijians.
Labasa is currently facing water disruption after 4 burst mains which WAF teams are working 24/7 to fix.
"Residents in affected areas contacted WAF and alleged that water carting truck drivers were being rude and in cases deliberately missing their areas for places where they knew people," said WAF CEO, Mr Barry Omundson.
"This behaviour is unwarranted and unacceptable, and we will terminate any contractor who participates in this."
The Authority has suspended water disconnections until 31 March 2021, in order to ensure that Fijians who are impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19 have access to water.
"The Water Authority of Fiji does not discriminate based on anyone's background and we will ensure that contractors who are indulging in such activities are held accountable and taken to task," the CEO said.
"Our mandate is to ensure that every Fijian, regardless of demographic, location or socioeconomic background is able to access our services and we will continue to ensure that every Fijian gets access to water."
"Investigations into the alleged misconduct and discriminatory behaviour have begun."
Mr Omundson also urged Fijians to be mindful of water levels at WAF dams which are at critical levels due to the drought season.
"Water rates in Fiji are some of the cheapest in the world, however, we must not take water for granted and ensure that we are conserving water."
"During times like these where the whole world is suffering from a pandemic, it is more important than ever before to think about our fellow Fijians. Wasting water will affect your entire community," Mr Omundson said.
WAF urges Fijians to store up to 2-days of drinking water at all times, especially during this drought season.
The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) is a Commercial Statutory Authority (CSA) established by the Fijian Government to provide efficient and effective water and wastewater services in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner. WAF is responsible for providing access to quality drinking water and wastewater services to over 154,000 residential and non-residential metered customers residing largely in urban areas and also setting up water supply systems in rural schemes, reaching over 770,000 people nationwide.
WAF’s area of operation covers 18,274 square kilometers of the 332 islands in the Fiji archipelago of which only 110 islands are inhabited and our current water and wastewater network constitutes more than 4923 kilometers of pipes. The Authority provides approximately 134,000 megaliters of treated water annually to homes and businesses nationwide.
For more information, please contact the WAF Communications Team on email email@example.com