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Dry, thirsty land

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

LIVESTOCK have died and people are depending on carted water supply for their survival as the prolonged dry weather situation in the Western Division continues to worsen.

The situation has gotten so bad that parents are rationing water to ensure their children have enough to drink and maintain good personal hygiene.

Mikaele Esanamure from Drauniivi Village, Ra, claimed the situation was getting desperate for the more than 1000 residents of the coastal community.

"We are relying on carted supply from the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) and we are truly grateful for their help because the borehole that supplies the village is only able to provide water for three hours a day," he said.

"Things are really bad for Drauniivi, Togovere and other villages in this area.

"Our tilapia farms have dried up, cattle, pigs and goats have died because of the lack of pasture and water and we are trying to minimise the use of water in whatever way we can."

Mr Esanamure said the extreme dry weather was taking its toll on mothers, babies and the elderly especially.

"Things are very difficult for those who have infants and young children and the elderly, and we continue to hope that we receive rainfall soon."

WAF spokesperson Peni Shute said the authority was doing its best to ensure people across the west had adequate supply.

"For Togovere and Drauniivi, we carted supply last Saturday and Sunday and we will be sending another two trucks out this weekend," he said.

"We are supplying 1000 litres per household and we will continue supply to drought-stricken areas as long as there is a need."

Mr Shute said WAF was in regular contact with Government stakeholders including the Fiji Meteorological Service during the dry weather crisis.

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