WATER BREAKDOWNS FRUSTRATE SUVA RESIDENTS

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 20) - World Water Day will be celebrated this Wednesday with thousands of people along the Suva-Nausori corridors in Fiji praying to have regular water supply.

Many families in these areas struggled as their water supply was disrupted over the weekend.

Senior Water Engineer, David Grinter gave no assurance on when water supply would return to normal.

With the theme Water and Culture, World Water Day is organized by the United Nations and will be celebrated around the world to mark the importance of water in peoples daily life. Yet over the weekend in the greater Suva area, there either was no water supply or the pressure was very low.

For many residents this came as a surprise, as no warning was issued to prepare them. And to make the situation worse, no water trucks were seen in the affected areas.

Litia Ravutia, of Nakulau Road in Nasese said there was no water supply in the area.

"There was no water supply from yesterday (Saturday) morning and also at night. Even this morning (Sunday) there was no water," said Ravutia.

Ravutia said water supplied by one truck was not sufficient.

"Today (Sunday) we got water around lunch hour. Since the morning, there was no water supplied by the water trucks. And sometimes they just supply water to houses on the main road and go," she said.

Residents from Wailea settlement in Vatuwaqa said water supply was low over the weekend. But most residents interviewed said the water supply problem was a normal part of their life. A resident said turning on the tap to find only drops of water was nothing new.

Grinter said the Waila system suffered two-pump breakdown on Friday night resulting in extremely low levels in Wainibuku, Tovata, Nasinu, Flagstaff, Toorak and Nagatugatu reservoirs.

He said because of a major leak at the Tamavua water system, the Cunningham area and some parts of Namadi suffered a loss of supply. Most areas would receive water but with low pressure.

Grinter said they supplied water to areas that were greatly affected and water trucks were sent to areas as they received complaints during the day. However, he could not confirm when water supply would be back to normal.

March 21, 2006

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