A MAN yesterday admitted stealing a basic necessity of life — water.
Filipe Tikoivavalagi pleaded guilty to wilful interference with an asset of the Water Authority of Fiji, contrary to Section 36(1) and 27(2) of the WAF Promulgation 2007.
He appeared before Magistrate Sumudu Premachandra in the Nasinu court and is the first person charged and convicted for water theft.
According to court proceedings, between February 24 and October 2 last year Tikoivavalagi wilfully interfered with the WAF's water system by making connections using a hose pipe without obtaining the authority's prior approval.
The accused will be sentenced on March 20.
In a WAF statement, WAF legal counsel Talei Ligairi said the case marked the beginning of a number of prosecutions by the authority against customers found to have been illegally connecting to its water and sewerage system.
"This is an indication that WAF is serious about prosecuting those that have continued to either illegally or connect without permission to the authority's water and sewerage systems," she said.
"We have noticed that despite numerous awareness campaigns, people continue to ignore the illegality of their actions and therefore, WAF's legal team has made necessary efforts to ensure those citizens involved are taken to task."
The statement said that WAF's legal team began filing cases in court after a nationwide campaign against illegal connections last year.