FOR the first time, villagers of Kavewa Island will drink treated piped water supplied to their homes.
They clapped and cheered with joy as permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs Amena Yauvoli commissioned a new desalination plant on the island, which lies off mainland Macuata, on Friday.
Costing about $1.53million , the desalination plant is the third to be installed as part of the rural water project program.
Similar plants have been installed at Viwa Island on Yasawa and Vanuavatu, Lau.
Kavewa Village headman Emosi Time said the occasion was a historic event for the islanders.
He said although the island had a few water sources, none was treated for drinking.
Mr Time said they depended on rain water for consumption and cooking.
He said the past years had been challenging, particularly during dry weather when they would collect water from nearby islands, as the spring and water sources dried up.
Mr Time said sometimes they paid as much as $60 to hire a boat to fetch water from nearby villages.
The desalination plant has brought relief to them and they are grateful to the government for assisting in this project.
He said the new plant would ensure healthy water for their children and the future generation of Kavewa.