Bringing Piped Water to Fiji's Homes

Video | 23 April 2019

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Fiji is surrounded by water and has good freshwater supplies, but because of climate change, water sources need to be diversified to cope with rising sea levels and changing weather patterns. 

By 2030, two in three Fijians will be living in urban centers, and water and sanitation are central to government’s plans for inclusive economic development and growth.

For people like Asenata Waqatakona, who moved to the informal settlement area of Tamavua i wai near Suva in the 2000s, getting getting piped water at home has made all the difference.

Transcript

Tamavua i wai, Fiji - Asenata Waqatakona moved to the informal settlement area of Tamavua i wai near Suva in the mid 2000s.

For years access to water was a problem for her and her family.

“When I got married and settled in this village with my in-laws there was only one tap here,” explains Asenata Waqatakona.

“All the residents relied on that tap to bathe and do the laundry, although we collected water to do the dishes and cook food at home.

“That one tap was used for bathing and doing the laundry.”

The population in Fiji is becoming increasingly urbanized and water is getting scarce as a consequence of climate change.

But the government has plans to bring drinking water and basic sanitation to every household in the country.

ADB is helping Fiji diversify the sources of water serving the capital city of Suva.

“We are surrounded by water and we have good supplies, but if you are talking about piped water supply, most of the houses has it, but when it comes to the grater Suva area there are uncertainties because people mostly moved to reside due to urbanization at the outskirts of Suva, near the surrounding towns of Suva, Lami, and Nausori,” explains Vijay Narayan, Asian Development Bank.

“That’s one of the reasons for putting up a new plant at Viria sourcing [water] from the Rewa river.”

The wastewater treatment network is also being rehabilitated and expanded to serve households still using septic tanks.

“There is a current plan by the water authorities of Fiji to expand the plant,” says Tui Masi, Manager of the Kynoya Sewerage plant.

“We are having to expand the system to allow, to cater for 180,000 people, which will rebuild a plant that is there at the other side of our system, and eventually we will further expand our system to include 270,000 population.”

For Asenata Waqatakona, getting piped water at home has made all the difference.

“In the past, we had to carry our buckets up there to collect water from the tap for cooking in the morning, then back for lunch, and then again before dinner. Every time we needed water we had to do that,” explains Asenata Waqatakona.

“But now, with the connected meter, things are so much easier. We have taps outside our homes where we can cook and do the washing. Things are so much better.

By 2030, two in three Fijians will be living in urban centers.

Water and sanitation are central to Fiji’s plans for inclusive economic development and growth.

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