WATER SHORTAGE CLOSES FIJI SCHOOLS

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 17) - Schools in Lami had to close early yesterday because of water cuts. Among schools that closed early were Lami Primary, Marist Convent and Suva Adventist High.

[PIR editor’s note: Lami is a town near Suva, capital of Fiji on the island of Viti Levu.]

Kelera Adi, a Lami resident, said her children could not go to school because they did not have sufficient water. "The truck which carts water delivers it on the main road and since we live far from the main road, we are not able to fill up a lot of water," she said.

Chauhan Memorial Primary School head teacher Surendra Kumar said they did not close the school even though water had been cut off in the area since last week. "We have two big tanks which we ask the PWD to fill up once the water level gets low and that is sufficient for 275 students," said Mr. Kumar. He said students had been asked to get water in bottles from their homes and the water from tanks was only being used for washing of hands and flushing toilets. "We have to be really careful about the type of water students drink because there are already so many cases of diarrhea," Kumar said.

Works by water supply engineers continued yesterday on the Waimanu pump [supplies water to Suva and Naursori areas], which broke down at the weekend.

Suva-Nausori Water Supply System project manager, Sereicocoko Yanuyanurua said engineers had managed to repair one of the two pumps which broke down on Saturday and hoped to complete repairs to the other pump by yesterday afternoon to restore operations by today. He said the two pumps had been operating on a 24-hour basis from Monday to Sunday and they hoped to rectify this once two additional pumps were installed either in September or August.

The Water and Sewage Department states common faults giving rise to numerous water supply disruptions are mainly due to low levels at the Wainibuku Reservoir, pump breakdowns at Waimanu and Savura pump stations, undetected leaks and burst mains, and the dilapidated condition of the system and facilities.

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