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 Created on: Sunday, 25/08/2019   Print this page 

A TOTAL of 873 people now have access to clean drinking water in their homes after the Government today (16/08) commissioned the Rural Water Project in Sawakasa village, Tailevu.

This Government initiative carried out by the Water Authority of Fiji will benefit the 200 households of Sawakasa Village Number 1, Lodoni Village, Dakuinuku Village, Waivou Settlement and Lodoni Primary School.

Seventy-three-year-old Tirisa Drugunalevu of Sawakasa Village grew up witnessing her people rely on untreated water from wells to drink and carry out their household chores.

She said now, after almost 50 years, clean water has reached their doorsteps, and it is a development for the ages. “Before water from the wells tasted salty as seawater sipped into our water source however we are thankful for this development as we can now easily carry out work such as drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning from the comfort of our homes,” she said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Sawakasa Village Water Committee Lepani Leka said this development was essential as the old water system could no longer cater for the growing population of the three villages, community, and the school.

“Our old water system had been around since 1972 and we are truly thankful to the Government and the Water Authority of Fiji for investing their money, time and effort into this water project."

While officiating at the event today, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Hon. Jone Usamate urged the villagers to take ownership of the water scheme through proper maintenance as clean drinking water is a gift of life and necessary for the health and well being of every community.

“The construction of this water project has costed the government $179,000 and it is an investment we are happy to make, because from clean water flow many benefits that keep us more productive and more resilient to environmental hardships,” said Hon. Usamate.

Minister Usamate added the Village Water Committee now had the responsibility of ensuring the repair of leaking taps and showers as the factors would be liable for the consistent water pressure to the households in the villages.

Hon. Usamate also handed over $2700 and a toolbox to help the Village Water Committee with the future maintenance of the new water scheme to ensure its longevity and durability.

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