THE absence of proper water supply at the southern end of Taveuni has forced villagers to use sea water for cooking.
Speaking on behalf of villagers, Mika Cabelawa said from as early as 5am, villagers began their chores of collecting buckets of water from the sea.
"The buckets of seawater collected in the morning are for the women to cook school lunch for their children," he said.
"Even some students have had to use the sea water to bath and this happens when the rain water stored in our drums are all used up.
"This is a long time problem and we have asked many past governments to help but nothing has changed."
Mr Cabelawa said women also depended on the seawater to carry out house chores.
Pacific Transport Ltd manager Prakash Sami said villagers had also loaded buckets of water on buses to take back home.
"It is a real disaster for them because they have to fill buckets of water and take it to Navakawau, which is another end of this island," Mr Sami said.
Water Authority of Fiji, in responding to questions sent about this situation, said a short-term plan was to install a desalination plant at Qarawalu this year.
"And while the authority awaits the arrival of this plant at the end of this month, our water carting services will continue."