The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) wishes to advise the public on the status of the Namulomulo Village Water Supply Scheme, with the timeline so far, to correct inaccuracies in an article titled ‘Villagers seek help” published on page 7 of the 8 November 2021 edition of Fiji Times.
Namulomulo Village, which is located outside the Water Authority of Fiji’s Urban Reticulated Water System, previously sourced its drinking water through rainwater harvesting systems, and water for cleaning through an existing borehole system.
WAF secured project funding of a total of $118,500 for Namulomulo Village within the 2017 – 2018 Financial year for implementation of a new water scheme, which included the following:
– Construction of a new dam intake
– Construction of pump house and installation of a new pump
– Laying of rising main from pump to Village reticulation
– Reticulation of Namulomulo Village connecting to existing Rota Tanks
– Construction of 20 Standpipes and Showers
Works commenced in early 2018 with the mobilisation of team and materials to site to begin with the construction at the new dam intake site selected by the Village Water Committee of Namulomulo.
The damage of the dam was a result of heavy rain and flooding which scoured the river bank causing the collapse.
WAF then requested that the Village Water Committee identify an alternate site to be developed that would allow the project to be completed and closed out. While awaiting confirmation of the alternate site, our team continued working on the village reticulation and construction of the 20 standpipes and showers, which was then connected to the existing borehole system.
In early 2019, WAF purchased a brand-new borehole pump out of its own budget to replace the existing old pump after it had developed mechanical issues, to get the water supply normalised to the village while awaiting the completion and replacement of the collapsed dam.
On 27 September, 2019, WAF received a report that the borehole pump had ceased operating, and on 3 October, 2019, a WAF team attended the site. Upon investigation, it was confirmed that the borehole pump failure had been caused by decomposed material within the suction end of the pump.
This was most likely a frog or rat that had got stuck in the borehole pump after entering from the open borehole casing and unmaintained borehole shelter, which was the responsibility of the Village Water Committee to maintain after handover. The pump was then transported to the WAF Pump workshop for cleaning, disinfection and servicing.
On 14 November, 2019, the WAF team on-site at Namulomulo flushed the borehole and removed debris build-up, including removal of decomposed material lodged inside the well, and on the following day, reinstalled the serviced and cleaned the borehole pump. Due to power issues at the time, testing of the pump was delayed until the electricity was back on.
The Turaga ni Koro and Village Water Committee were reminded again to make sure the open casing entry for pipe is well secured so no rats or frogs can enter the borehole pipe. They were further advised to restrict borehole pump operation hours to 6 hours per day to allow groundwater time to replenish and necessary downtime to minimise mechanical wear and tear of pumps as the pump was seen to be running dry.
On 26 November, 2019, after the Turaga ni koro advised that power issues were resolved, the Village Water Committee Chairman confirmed the testing of the pump and that the unit was operational. They were then advised of responsibility and duty of care as the asset was under their responsibility.
A week later, on 2 December, 2019, the WAF National Water Quality Laboratory testing confirmed the supply of water from the borehole was safe.
The following year, on 18 July, 2020, WAF was notified of a mechanical issue with the Namulomulo Borehole pump, which upon further investigation was revealed to be due to burn out of the pump motor, most likely due to the overrunning of the pump to the point where it was operating dry with no water in the borehole.
The Village Water Committee was advised to purchase a replacement pump as per their responsibility, which was agreed upon. So far, the new borehole pump has not been procured and installed on-site as agreed, which is why residents are currently experiencing issues with the water supply.
It is important to note that the management and operation of the borehole remains the responsibility of the Water Committee, as outlined in the Rural Water and Sanitation Policy of July 2021 below.
“Section 14.0 Policy Implementation – Stakeholders Roles and Responsibilities; 14.9 Water Committee:
𝘞𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨:
– 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳;
– 𝘌𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴;
– 𝘙𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘯𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘪𝘱𝘦𝘴, 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘵𝘺𝘱𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘬𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥;
– 𝘊𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵;
– 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘢 𝘯𝘪 𝘬𝘰𝘳𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮 𝘥𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘞𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘍𝘪𝘫𝘪, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘙𝘰𝘬𝘰 𝘛𝘶𝘪 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘋𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘵 𝘖𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘴‘ 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦;
– 𝘌𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘴, 𝘥𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘭𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘺 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭; 𝘢𝘯𝘥
– 𝘌𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘧𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘺𝘨𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘤 𝘦𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵.”
Later in the year, WAF briefed and advised the Water Committee on the need to keep the borehole clean and well maintained following the flushing of the borehole that was carried out on 14 November, 2020. This was a concern, as similar advice had given previously, on 3 October 2019, when it had been initially noticed that there had been a lack of vigilance in carrying out duties.
Additionally, while undertaking the borehole flushing works, the teams removed debris lodged within the borehole casing, which seems to have been due to the shelter not being well maintained over time with no proper casing cover in place.
WAF staff were advised by the Village Headman of a suspected sabotage to their existing water infrastructure.
𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞
On 20 October, 2020, WAF received in writing confirmation from the Turaga ni Koro of Namulomulo Village of the intention to develop a new source on the Vatusoria Creek, and WAF’s rural surveyors inspected the new source.
It was determined that the scope of the works and cost required to develop the new source would be approximately $13,200, and the project was planned to be implemented as an in-house project.
Although site surveys were completed in March, 2021, our Rural Water Supply Team was unable to return to the site and Village Water Committee due to COVID-19 restrictions on movement, as a result of the 2nd wave of the pandemic, which also impacted the planning and procurement of the materials for this project.
An update on the work done so far, work that will be carried out under this financial year, and assistance required to execute the improvement works has been provided to the Turaga ni Koro and Village Water Committee by WAF teams, along with representatives from Department of Water and Sewerage, who visited the village on 1 October, 2021.
A second visit will be conducted by the team today, 10 November, 2021 to provide the Turaga ni Koro and Water Committee with the implementation schedule for the development of the new source. Depending on the discussion during this visit, development is scheduled to begin as early as 22 November, 2021, provided the delivery of project materials remains unaffected and weather permitting.