TC Winston

$15m damage to water systems

The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) said the damages sustained to their water systems around the country after TC Winston has come to a total of $15 million. WAF Chief Executive Officer, Opetaia Ravai revealed this in a press conference today. We estimate around $14 to $15 million for this TC and now that includes […]

Staff Writers

March 22, 2016 1:10 pm

The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) said the damages sustained to their water systems around the country after TC Winston has come to a total of $15 million.

WAF Chief Executive Officer, Opetaia Ravai revealed this in a press conference today.

We estimate around $14 to $15 million for this TC and now that includes to what we have done in the rural as well as our infrastructure efforts.

We are currently looking at our budget, to divert the money to reconstruction works. All Government ministries have been advised to do so we are currently in the process.

opetaia-ravai-ceo-water-authority-of-fiji
CEO, Water Authority of Fiji, Mr Opetaia Ravai during a press conference today. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

Water Authority of Fiji has confirmed that they received two complaints of water contamination post-TC Winston. Mr. Ravai said water committees in villages need to stop animal grazing and the cutting of trees in water catchment areas.

There have been some issues of contamination from some from the islands. We have investigated and the cause of the contamination that we could see was that there was a lot of animal grazing in the catchment areas. Animal grazing around the catchment area can cause contamination to water supply and which needs to be prevented.

Also if they do not manage the catchment areas properly, if they cut the trees and there’s deforestation and there’s animal grazing, that could also cause block intakes and water contamination.

Mr. Ravai said the more the trees and forests in catchment areas the better as they help with the filter process and it prevents landslides.

Mr. Ravai said that tap water is safe to drink although people may see discoloured water coming out from taps.

We also received complaints of discoloured water, the water is still safe to drink. And our advice to people is to continue to boil your water after the cyclone.

Mr. Ravai said due to power fluctuations, the Wainibuku Reservoir dried.

Mr. Ravai said that Vanuabalavu and Koro will remain as the focus areas for the next 30 days, he said WAF will continue to build resilient water supply systems.

Close to five hundred and thirty two villages that got damaged and also their water supply systems got affected.

A hundred and sixty staff were deployed to various regions, and districts to visit, make quick assessments and make quick repairs. Which are temporary repairs so people can go back to their lives and have water.

WAF currently is working with 29 villages that need repairs to water systems. Mr. Ravai thanked the various agencies who are working with WAF in helping the rehabilitation works.

I believe they are the unsung hero’s, the RFMF who are working with the NZ Defence Force and the Australian Defence Force, DISMAC officials, the Police, Education officials, Medical serivces, FEA workers and WAF staff.

Acknowledging World Water Day, with the theme ‘Water & Jobs’, Mr. Ravai said that the public need to remember the importance of water

It’s always important we remember ‘World Water Day’ and focus in our efforts and usage of this very important resource. It’s a big risk if we do not mitigate or appreciate it properly.

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