IN her 76 years of living on the island of Galoa, Lusiana Caginiveisaqa considered herself lucky to witness what she terms as a monumental change for her people.
Being the eldest villager on the island, Ms Caginiveisaqa only wished that her ancestors and friends were alive to witness the official opening of the new water project on Friday last week.
Ms Caginiveisaqa had tears in her eyes as she listened to the official remarks by Minister for Public Utilities and Works, Timoci Natuva as he commissioned the project.
"My father and their fathers had always cried for water on the island and we as a people had always wondered if it was ever possible to have piped water system from the mainland to our island," she said.
"On behalf of our people I voice our gratitude to the government of the day and the Water Authority of Fiji for finally bringing life to us.
"As a mother of five children I also had my hard times in the past looking for water to do my household chores."
Ms Caginiveisaqa said that at times villagers had no choice but to bath in the sea and withstand the heat silently because there was no water.
"Our children had to turn to green coconuts to quench their thirst during long droughts and we could only stare helplessly because there was not much we could do."
Speaking during the commissioning of the project, Water Authority of Fiji CEO Opetaia Ravai said that the project took twelve months to complete.
"Water is sourced from Drana in the district of Lekutu travelling for 16 kilometres from the source to the sea before the piped water travels another 16 kilometres underwater to get to Galoa," he said.
"We have a reservoir on the island where water collects before it is distributed to the homes on the island.
"The water pipes are held by blocks and lead in the ocean bed."