THE Water Authority of Fiji has been given the task of improving the water supply to more than 6000 residents in Ba affected by an outbreak of hepatitis and leptospirosis.
Under the orders of the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, the authority has been called in to improve the quality of water supplied by the Waica dam.
Areas affected include Nukuloa, Tabataba, Moto, Nacaci, Balevuto, and Vatusui. Also located within these areas are four schools that also depend on the water source.
Authority CEO Laxman Attanayake said the Waica dam was polluted.
"According to the Ministry of Health, the water is polluted at the moment and we can't rely on the source," he said.
"It's not protected properly."
Mr Attanayake said over the next few months, the authority would look at instant measures to improve the dam.
"Over the next three months we will try to improve the quality of service to the affected areas," said Mr Attanayake.
"We are trying to implement immediate measures to improve supply and water quality to these areas, so that people are assured they will get cleaner drinking water."
He said some immediate measures would include looking for alternative water sources.
"We will be distributing some domestic filters so that people can treat the water that is coming to their houses and they drink water confidently.
"We are going to use some of the boreholes available in the area. We are looking at renovations at the dam and so once the improvements are done we will reopen the water source."
On his visit to the affected areas last Friday, Commodore Bainimarama also directed the authorities to provide fencing around the dam to protect the water source from straying farm animals.