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Water quarrels

Luke Rawalai
Sunday, July 20, 2014

RESIDENTS on the south end of Taveuni have started using the daily bus service to transport water for their families and homes, often spending between $94 and $100 a week.

Pacific Transport Limited manager Prakash Sami said his bus drivers have quarrelled with residents transporting water containers and gallons in the bus as it affected the other passengers.

"Something needs to be done about the water supply in the South because people are suffering miserably for a long time now," Mr Sami said.

Navakawau villager Suluka Tunaka said they had no other option but to use the bus because water was so scarce.

Mr Tunaka said the 20 gallons of water the Water Authority of Fiji carted daily for each family was simply not enough.

"Navakawau area has about 600 houses and imagine that within these houses live six people for whom 20 gallons of water is nothing," Mr Tunaka said.

"Our people are using water wisely while our clothes and eating utensils are being washed in the sea but still we need more water for our everyday use.

"Bus fare from Navakawau Village where the road ends on the south side is $4.70 one way compared to hiring a vehicle at $100 return which we cannot afford."

Mr Tunaka said he had been spending around $94 for the past week making two trips to and from Naqara to cart water.

"Imagine those hiring vehicles and I know of people out there who are doing that out of their need."

Vuna villager Inoke Taqa said they too had no other option but to use the bus to get water home adding they had to plead with bus drivers because they needed the water.

In response, a WAF statement last Wednesday revealed a short-term plan involving the installation of a desalination plant at Qarawalu this year.

The statement also reported that while the authority is awaiting the arrival of this plant at the end of the month, water carting to affected areas will continue.

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