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Cutters leave fields

Salaseini Moceiwai
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SOME cane labourers in Labasa have decided to quit the job and return to their homes as a result of continuous intermittent water supply.

And the situation has frustrated some Wailevu and Waiqele farmers who have blamed the Water Authority of Fiji for failing to supply water to their respective homes.

The farmers are now worried their cane crops will not be harvested because the labourers have returned to their homes.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Chandra Wati said yesterday their labourers left because they could not stand the intermittent water supply.

"This is really frustrating. We can't provide water to the cutters because we don't have any supply," Ms Wati said.

National Farmers Union (NFU) president Surendra Lal shared similar sentiments saying water problem in the area had been existing for far too long and authorities responsible should address it immediately.

"This has become a much talked about problem and authorities should seriously address it," Mr Lal said.

"The labourers have to be provided with the necessary amenities and basic needs and we can't afford to lose them now. If they go home, they will not return and who will cut the cane.

"We need them and this problem should be addressed accordingly so the crops are harvested and delivered to the mill on time."

A WAF statement issued yesterday morning said a burst main in Wailevu disrupted water supply in some areas.

The areas affected include Avua, Lajonia, Wailevu, Qelewaqa, Bocalevu and Tabucola Tiri Rd.

The statement said urgent upgrade works had been carried out and the authority had advised its customers residing in these areas to store and use water wisely.

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