WATER Authority of Fiji customers must be responsible for their water bills.
This was the word from Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive Premila Kumar in light of the government decision to waive $14 million worth of overdue bills owed to WAF by about 25,000 consumers.
“The council is calling on consumers that such a relief does not come often and that they should take responsibility to avoid the bills going into arrears by being vigilant,” Ms Kumar said.
“Consumers must pay their bills on time and take responsibility to carry out the necessary repair work and contact WAF for address and contact change.
“Any leakage that may occur from the meter to consumers’ property must be checked regularly and fixed to avoid high bills,” she said.
She said the council received many complaints regarding water services recording a total of 315 complaints in the last two and a half years.
She said these complaints ranged from unusually high bills when compared to previous amounts, high bills because of defective meters and sewerage charges for residences that were not linked to sewerage systems.
“The government’s intervention is timely and now consumers have to play their part as rights comes with responsibilities,” she said.
In a statement on Tuesday Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the state recognised some customers simply could not afford to pay their outstanding bills and many of these arrears had built up over the years.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said many people were worried about how they would meet their obligation and this decision meant that they could rest easy.
“We are prepared to forgo this revenue because we are mindful that making ends meet is a challenge for many Fijian families, schools and places of worship,” he said.