A WATER crisis has hit the Western Division with 570,000 litres of water being carted to 35 areas from Rakiraki to Nadroga and the Yasawa Group over the past week.
Acting Commissioner Western Luke Moroivalu called an urgent press conference yesterday afternoon and urged the media to inform people to refrain from using water unnecessarily as sources are beginning to dry up.
About 50 people in Nacula, Yasawa, have reported diarrhoea, fever and vomiting, however, Mr Moroivalu said a team of health officials had been dispatched to confirm if the symptoms were related to the water crisis.
Mr Moroivalu said he also met with key stakeholders — Water Authority of Fiji, Fiji Electricity Authority, the Education and Health ministries — last week and asked them to put in place contingency plans should the division move into a drought situation.
"The prolonged dry spell in the division, coupled with below-average rainfall and low humidity has caused water sources to dry up very quickly," he said.
"As I speak, we have been receiving emergency water supply requests from Rakiraki, Tavua, Lautoka, Nadroga and Yasawa.
"The areas on the mainland are outside of the regional water supply and obtain water from their own sources.
"We have commenced water carting over the past two weeks to maritime areas — Yasawa, Malolo and Vatulele because in these areas water sources have all dried up."
Mr Moroivalu said Nacula Island in the Yasawas was particularly affected.