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Daily water struggle

Mere Naleba
Friday, May 23, 2014

THE daily struggles facing two widows continue as they try to find water for their families.

Kusma Wati, 59, and Prabha Wati, 66, of Sawani Hill 3 outside Nausori, shared their experiences with this newspaper of how they have had to get water from unreliable water sources over the past 10 years.

The women said for the past nine years, they received intermittent water supply from about 9pm to 5am daily.

"This happened for the past nine years, it has been a daily struggle for us," Mrs Kusma said.

"Even during those times, we would receive water bills that went up to $100, so we stopped paying our bills because the Water Authority of Fiji was not giving us a regular water supply and charging us that huge amount," she claimed.

Ms Prabha claimed that last year, WAF officials visited their community and disconnected their water meters resulting in all 20 families living in the settlement resorting to using wells and a nearby creek.

"It is really hard," Mrs Prabha said.

"Before, I could always join the other women in washing and carrying water from the creek to my home, but now because of my old age, I cannot even go down to the creek or the well which is just at my neighbour's home."

Ms Kusma said after their water meters were disconnected, those affected would fill up their buckets and other containers from the Sawani service station and pay $5 for a lorry to transport their buckets to their homes.

"That has stopped because they are also paying their water bills," she said.

"We have complained about this to the Water Authority but they have not really done much."

She said a water truck visited their area last week for the first time and that was a relief to them.

Questions sent via electronic mail to WAF communications officer Navinesh Kumar two weeks ago, remained unanswered.

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