Savusavu-Lailai Community Members
The Permanent Secretary for Lands & Mineral Resources
Senior Government Officials;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Cola Vina and a very good morning to you all.
It is indeed a blessing to be here to commission the Savusavu-Lailai Settlement Groundwater Project. Most importantly, it’s my pleasure to announce to you all that ‘your waiting days are over’ and I applaud you all for your patience and tolerance.
Since the beginning of this groundwater reticulation programme in 2015 by the Department, more than 6000 people have directly benefitted around the country.   
This project is the result of our alignment to Section 36 of the 2013 Constitution which guarantees the right of every person to clean and safe water in adequate quantities.
Given the importance of water for preserving our health and also inducing economic development, this project enables the safe utilization and equitable distribution of critical resources and also contributes towards the Sustainable Development Goal Six (6); Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
This community has experienced critical water shortages annually especially during the dry season when surface water sources dry up and rainwater harvesting is obviously inadequate. Government commits significant budget in the carting of water on an annual basis.
However, this one hundred and thirty seven thousand dollars ($137,000.00) project, ladies and gentlemen brings the assurance to an improved and reliable supply of quality water. The commissioning of the Savusavu-Lailai Settlement borehole will benefit 28 households with a total population of 138 Fijians.   
The people of Savusavu-Lailai Settlement will now be able to enjoy a better quality of life as water plays a critical role in their daily lives; from drinking, bathing, washing and cleaning.
However, villagers must not abandon and should continue to use and maintain other water sources such as rainwater harvesting.
Groundwater is a supplementary source and must be strictly used for drinking purposes only during the dry periods of the year. As we all know, this community is located on the drier side of Viti Levu which means that critical water shortages and droughts will be experienced.  
Access to safe and reliable water source has been an issue for generations, and this Government has responded to your pleas and invested resources to develop groundwater sources to address this long standing problem.
One of the success stories of this project is the engagement and participation of women. The participation of women in meetings and during the consultations exercise has enable them to be represented in the Water Committee given that women are the highest users of water and are the most impacted should the water supply system fail.
Groundwater is a critical resource and you all must play your part to ensure the preservation and sustainable extraction of this resource. From today, the responsibility of monitoring, maintaining, managing, and protecting the groundwater resource and as well as the water supply infrastructure, belongs to Savusavu-Lailai Settlement.
Please do support your water committees in any scheduled maintenance activities and also fundraising drives. This will ensure that access to water is not disrupted and the scheme is sustainable.
It is advised that you follow the recommended pumping rate and pump durations. Failure to comply with this could lead to unsustainable supply and poor or unsafe water quality.
The Government of the day will remain committed to its responsibility to deliver this basic need of life. But, as a citizen of Fiji you also have responsibilities to uphold. Our commitment to the wellbeing of ordinary Fijians surpasses previous governments and will continue to do so.
Finally, I wish to thank and acknowledge the staffs of the Mineral Resources Department who have worked tirelessly to ensure the completion of this project within the given timeline so that you will enjoy your Christmas.
Thank you, Dhanyavad and Vinaka Vakalevu.