Villagers of Waikete in Nakelo in Tailevu are concerned that they have been facing water disruptions for the last 9 weeks and have been lining up to fill buckets of water for daily use.
Assistant Village Headman Semesa Dumaru says they have been facing water disruptions since November 2021.
He says because there has been low pressure for weeks, villagers have cut open a water main that runs into the village so they can at least fill buckets of water for daily use.
Dumaru says they are worried about elderly members in their village and children who returned to school on Monday.
The Water Authority of Fiji Chief Operating Officer Seru Soderberg says they have begun mobilizing and deploying communal water tanks to serve the people, and water carting services are there to provide water to these tanks.
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He confirms that some of the residents have reached out to WAF regarding the water issues they are facing.
Soderberg says their operations teams will be adjusting and balancing the flow through the system, to improve water supply pressure to Waikete Village.
He adds this activity may result in the surrounding areas experiencing lower pressure however their teams will be closely monitoring the situation to minimize the impact as much as possible. Soderberg says the Water Authority, as part of its long-term solution, will be seeking funding to upgrade the existing undersized pipeline.
He has asked for the understanding of the villagers of Waikete as some time will be taken for the permanent solution to ease their water problems.
The Chief Operating Officer says the demand within the Suva-Nausori corridor has increased exponentially due to population growth and developments that have taken place over the recent years and this has impacted the Water Authority of Fiji's ability to continually meet customers' water demands, especially during peak hours.
Soderberg adds independent expert studies carried out by consultants have determined that the completion and commissioning of the Rewa River Water Supply Scheme (Viria), which is currently under construction, will address the existing gap between supply and demand.
He further says that the Viria Project is expected to be completed this year, barring any major factors that may cause delay.
Soderberg says interfacing works in preparation for the Viria Project are well underway with provisions being made to allow this additional volume of water to be utilised in the Nausori-end of the System as soon as the project is commissioned.
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