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Call for urgent repairs

Mere Naleba
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

HOUSING Authority is hoping to carry out much-needed maintenance work for strata housing blocks at Edenville St in Toorak, Suva in two months' time.

The housing blocks came under the spotlight after residents highlighted their plight with this newspaper on how they feared for the worst every time it rained because water leaked into their flats.

This was what residents occupying the top level of the three-storey buildings experienced.

Housing Authority general manager land development Isikeli Navuda said the delay in maintenance work was because bidders were calling for high prices during the tender process.

"We cannot give you any definite time, hopefully within the next month or two. It's just because the tender we are receiving is way beyond what we are expecting," he said.

Authority CEO Dr Punit Sethi said they were aware of the age of the buildings and they were working to provide permanent solutions to the issues raised by the tenants.

"The point is that these buildings are very old," he said.

"As you see the vintage of the building, as the buildings gets older more repairs are needed. I have already directed them, if contract is taking time, if the contract amount is too high, so we should get in some people, the electricians, the plumber, for the maintenance."

For the past few weeks, residents of blocks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 have had to look for dry places in their flats whenever it rained because of leaking roofs.

Sitiveni Tavaga, who occupied one of the top flats of block 4, said they had lived there since 1981 and for the past several years, they had stopped using the lights fearing that it might cause a fire.

Instead, they have been using lamps in their flat.

When this newspaper visited Mr Tavaga last week, he had just painted his entire flat, hoping that the fresh coat of paint would at least prevent water from seeping inside his flat.

Another resident, Eta Tamanivalu said her children aged 10, eight and six ran out of their flat after the light switch exploded two weeks ago.

"These are ongoing issues. We have been complaining for so many years but nothing has been done. Even outside of our flat, it's almost a year now and there is no light in the porch area."

Edenville housing community chairperson Margaret Moore said not a single resident in the mentioned blocks was free from these problems.

"We face similar problems, even for my flat. "When I switch on the light, I can actually see water flowing around the bulb," she said.

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