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Fiji Time: 8:03 PM on Friday 18 April

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Residents plea for proper water supply

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, December 19, 2013

RESIDENTS of a farming community in Tabia are fearing for the health of their families after Health Ministry tests detected bacteria in a few drinking wells within the area.

Tabia district councillor Prem Lal said the farming community of Lagi Rd in Tabia had been without proper piped water as far back as he can remember.

Mr Lal said the ministry conducted tests on three wells and the results were forwarded to them.

"Now that we know that these wells are infested by bacteria we fear for the safety of our families and ourselves," he said.

"The memorandum from the Ministry of Health stated the three water wells on which tests were made are infested with bacteria.

"It also recommended that our present well locations be moved uphill or that a new proper water source be found to replace the wells."

Mr Lal said their pleas for assistance from the authorities in Labasa have yielded no response.

Lagi Rd resident Suman Lata said when wells in the area dried up they had to walk for miles or use bullocks to fetch water.

The 45-year-old resident said they feared for the health of their children after being told of the unhealthy state of the wells.

"My two children have sometimes had stomach ache or diarrhoea from drinking water from the well beside our house," she said.

"What can we do? We do not have money to set up a proper piped water system."

Mrs Lata said they managed to dig a 25 feet well with her husband Parveen Kishore in 2005.

"Since then we have been drinking and getting our water supply from the well.

"We plead with the authorities to look into this and do something about our water source before someone gets sick."

When asked for comments last week, acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu referred all queries to the Water Authority of Fiji, saying the authority was answerable for the issues raised.

Questions sent to WAF last week remained unanswered.