The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, through the Office of the Commissioner Western Division commenced with emergency water carting to villages in Malolo this week.
These villages are currently facing water shortages as a result of prolonged dry spell in parts of the Western Division.
This week, the West team commenced water carting to villages in Malolo with 100,000 litres already supplied to the villages of Yaro and Solevu, including the Solevu Health Centre.
Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu says this exercise aligns to Government’s commitment of ensuring that all Fijians have adequate access to clean and safe drinking water. This is also enshrined under the Bill of Rights of the Fijian Constitution.
Minister Seruiratu said in also ensuring that no one was left behind in accessing services provided by Government, it was only right that these maritime communities also had access to water made available under the Ministry’s Emergency Water Supply (EWS) programme.
Divisional Commissioner Western Mr. Mesake Ledua said the supply of emergency water would continue next week to the remaining villages of Yanuya and Tavua in Malolo and to the island of Vatulele.
The West team is also currently monitoring the situation in Yasawa.
“The barge has returned from Solevu and Yaro Village and will depart for Yanuya Village and Tavua Village next week Monday before going to Vatulele Island. We are also anticipating the same for the five Tikina in the Yasawa Group and we stand ready to assist as well,” Mr Ledua said.
These stock of emergency water is expected to sustain these communities for the next three months.
“Approximately more than 5,000 people will benefit from the supply of emergency water.”
The Ministry had utilised more than $200,000 to cart emergency water to rural and maritime communities affected by prolonged dry spells in the last financial year.  This exercise has been boosted with the allocation of a sum of $300,000 in the 2021/2022 National Budget.
In addition to the provision of water under the EWS programme, the Ministry had also worked with the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) in the last financial year to implement new community based water and sanitation projects in high risk rural and maritime areas.
Under this programme, a few stand-alone water projects with Ecological Purification Systems (EPS) were completed in villages in Tailevu and Serua. This exercise will continue in the current financial year with an allocation of $500,000 in the 2021/2022 Budget.