Under FijiFirst Govt, water sector endured neglect – Ro Filipe
It’s idiotic for this Govt to take credit for the Water Sector Strategy 2050 - Usamate

Under FijiFirst Govt, water sector endured neglect – Ro Filipe

It’s idiotic for this Govt to take credit for the Water Sector Strategy 2050 - Usamate

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Monday 15/04/2024
Minister for Public Works, Ro Filipe Tuisawau and FijiFirst MP, Jone Usamate. [Image: Parliament of Fiji]

Minister for Public Works Ro Filipe Tuisawau says in 16 years under the rule of the FijiFirst government, our water sector endured shared neglect as they had no plan and also continued to reduce the Water Authority of Fiji’s much-needed capital budget.

While making his ministerial statement in Parliament this morning, Ro Filipe says the Water Sector 2050 strategy highlights the coalition government's robust commitment to address water and sanitation issues that continue to affect many of our citizens.

He says soon after his appointment as the Minister, he was briefed by the WAF Executive team on the state of the water infrastructure the coalition government inherited from the previous government.

The Minister says it was obvious to him at that very moment that they cannot get out of the mess that they have inherited.

Ro Filipe adds that the coalition government is not planning for its survival but is planning for the next 3 decades irrespective of who is in government.

He says they are not here for political survival but for the people.

The Minister says collaboration and cooperation have been the hallmark of the process that WAF followed in developing the strategy, including consultation with major development partners through an ideation workshop.

Responding to the statement, FijiFirst MP Jone Usamate says it is idiotic that this government want to take credit for the set-up of the strategy as this was part of the 2017–2022 National Development Plan.

He said when they had the 2017 strategy, the access to clean water was only around 78 percent, and from that time it has gone up to 82 percent.

Usamate says their target was to take it up to 90 percent.

He adds that FijiFirst is the first government to use green climate funds to deal with the biggest water problem in Fiji, and this shows the devotion of the FijiFirst government at that time to make sure that they meet this need for water for everybody.

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