As part of the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Hon. Jone Usamate’s Northern Division tour, the Minister visited the Water Authority of Fiji’s Namara Wastewater Treatment Plant in Labasa as well as the Navaca Desalination Plant on the island of Taveuni.
At Namara Waste Water Treatment Plant (28/02), the Hon. Minister was briefed by the Regional Manager North, Mr Apete Radrodrolagi and the Supervisor – Namara Waste Water Treatment Plant, Mr Tomu Vuniwai.
Minister Usamate met and greeted WAF crew members at the plant as he toured the wastewater treatment plant facility.
“The Namara Waste Water Treatment Plant has been there for some time, I was quiet taken back with the way it is, the location, but I am glad to see the mitigation measures in case of a flood. It is obviously under stress as it was designed to cater for 5,000 people but it is now servicing 11,000. But, I am glad to see the plans in place to try and address that, because, on the sanitation side, that is something important for us,” said Hon. Usamate.
On the island of Taveuni (02/03), Minister Usamate travelled to Naselesele to inspect the on-going works along the access road to the Vakaderibua water source (Northern-end).
“Here on Taveuni, we have seen the need for water, we came up to Naselesele and I have had perpetual complaints on water and we have seen the bore-hole that is not working, but we a glad to see the new water source has been identified, so I am very hopeful that once the access roads are completed, WAF can carry out the works and WAF will be able to meet the needs for the people in the North-end of Taveuni,” explained Hon. Usamate.
The Hon. Minister then travelled to inspect the Desalination Plant at Navaca, the Southern-end of Taveuni Island.
“At the Desalination Plant, we have seen the difficulties that WAF has in here and seems to be one of the major difficulties seem to be the issue of dust which comes into the plant and hopefully we can come up with a solution to prevent the dust coming in so that the plant can be working continuously and Water Authority of Fiji will have to make sure to make it work consistently.”
“The other major obstacle for this part of Taveuni would be the cost of water carting, here it would be the cost of electricity because they have to use diesel generators and that is also tied in with the overall plan that we have to make Taveuni totally renewable – we have the Energy Fiji Limited’s, Hydro Plant, we have the solar energy farm coming in and that should be able to meet electricity needs and that will also drive down the cost that we have to drive this desalination plant,” said Minister Usamate.
“With the new source we have at Wainivasa in the next few years, if the land could be acquired quickly, I think that should go a long way to addressing the needs of the South-end of Taveuni. This is all towards our goal in ensuring people in having good water because it is their right and Government will continue to work with Water Authority of Fiji as well as with the other utilities to see that we can provide to the country with what they need,” explained Minister Usamate.
Hon. Minister Usamate was accompanied by his Assistant Minister, Hon. Vijay Nath and Deputy Secretary Infrastructure, Mr Iliesa Vonu.