Using water wisely

Seini Ragalivatu uses a tap at her home in Nukulau Village in Nasau Ra. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FILE

WHETHER US President Donald Trump is correct in cynically dismissing climate change as a hoax probably isn’t going to be debated by some Fijians.

Not right now when dry weather has virtually forced some villagers in the Yasawas to reach out for assistance.

They’d rather shrug aside that notion into the deepest recesses of their mind for now because they know what they are going through today isn’t good.

In fact we have to accept the reality that the dry spell is affecting people already.

And not even Mr Trump is going to tell them to dismiss climate change.

As the Water Authority of Fiji called on people to be aware of the impact of the prolonged dry spell, and the need to conserve water, about 300 villagers could end up being forced to drink sea water said their district spokesman.

Naisisili Village in Nacula, Yasawa is one of the worst affected by the current dry spell affecting the Western Division, says district spokesman Saimoni Naivalu.

About 300 villagers were heavily dependent on two ponds near the village. Out of all of the villages in Nacula, Naisisili is the worst affected, he said.

The two water sources, he said, will dry up if they don’t get assistance. Other wells, rivers and small streams have already dried up.

Yesterday, Water Authority of Fiji board director Kamal Gounder urged people to be aware of the impact of the prolonged dry spell.

He made the comments during the launch of the nationwide campaign on conserving water.

He said while there had been some relief with rain falling in parts of the Central Division, the dry weather spell is expected to last until the end of October.

The objective of the campaign, he said was to encourage members of the public to save water and not be extravagant. Mr Gounder said the delivery of clean and safe drinking water was a priority for WAF.

He associated the change in climatic conditions and prolonged dry spells to climate change. People have been urged to conserve water.

As WAF creates awareness about the dry spell and the negative impact on Fijians, preparations are ongoing to cart about 400,000 litres of water to the Yasawa Group this weekend.

Acting Commissioner Western Joji Satakala said two barges would carry water to the northern and southern parts of the group over the next few days.

The dry spell certainly does not look like going away any time soon it seems. The negative impact is being felt right now. It falls on us to do the right thing.

We can be part of the solution by doing a few things we probably ignore right now.

We could switch off the tap while brushing our teeth in the morning, opening the tap halfway when washing our hands perhaps, and even cutting time while taking a shower for starters.

There needs to be a concerted effort though right around the country to get the message of conserving water to the masses. It really is in our best interest to be mindful of how we use water beginning today if we haven’t already started.

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