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Farmers wait on promise of water

Luke Rawalai
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A GROUP of farmers in the south end of Taveuni are tired of waiting to see the fulfilment of promises made over past years by government officials to supply them with water.

These farmers have depended on the rain for water as they have lived without proper water supply since childhood.

Farmer Rohit Prakash said the situation taught many farmers in the area to budget water.

"We budget our finance and water here in Delaivuna and every time it rains, we fill up our drums making sure it lasts us at least two to three weeks," he said.

"We have been promised many times before by all governments that a water reservoir will be built in Delaivuna to supply farmers with water but nothing has been done."

Mr Prakash said farmers had to fork out extra money to travel to relatives' homes in other areas to fetch water.

Another farmer Roneel Kumar described the situation as haunting.

"Every day we are haunted by the thought of making sure we have enough water for the families, especially our children," Mr Kumar said.

"For many years, we have spent money to hire trucks loaded with drums to fill water from friends and relatives' homes especially during the dry season."

Water Authority of Fiji spokeswoman Fulori Turaga said because of geographical location, the existing reservoir could only supply water to those in lower areas.

"There is a proposed water source at Salialevu on the high areas of Delaivuna that has been surveyed by our staff but still being monitored by our Water Resources Unit staff to determine the quality and the yield of this source," she said.

"There are some areas in Southern Taveuni that are currently not connected to our Qarawalu water supply system.

"This is mainly due to the topography of the areas in relation to the elevation that these areas are situated relative to the ground level at which our reservoir at Qarawalu is sitting."

Mrs Turaga said the areas which included Delaivuna were situated above the reservoir level which had contributed to the situation of improper water supply.

However, she said they were assessing potential water source at Salialevu.





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