In an effort to educate and inform the residents of Lautoka about the ‘Natabua Wastewater Desludging and Odor Control’ project, the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) held a public consultation at the Fiji National University’s Natabua Campus in Lautoka (21/03).
While presenting at the consultation, WAF Team Leader Wastewater in the West, Mr Engtesh Permal informed the audience on the importance of the works and the need for it to be carried out.
“The consultation and awareness at Natabua Campus was very successful, we needed to make aware to our customers, residents living in Natabua as well as stakeholders about what we are doing, we will be undertaking the desludging of the Natabua Wastewater Treatment Plant – which is a pond based treatment plant. The last desludge was undertaken about 25 years ago, so there is a lot of sludge in the ponds. We have been assured by the contractors that there will be minimum disturbance to the residents in the vicinity, we also have the Environment Unit who will also be strictly monitoring this project. Therefore, it was imperative to hold this consultation to inform and seek the cooperation and understanding of our customers and residents,” said Mr Permal.
Lautoka resident, Mr Peter Chongsue thanked the Authority for the organizing the public consultation.
“The consultation is very good and we are now very familiar with this project. I am very thankful that we have this program and hearing good ideas of what is going to happen, it was well presented. It was very clear. I am very thankful that once these works are done, it will put us forward. In fact our system here is outdated and it is good to hear that we are taking this step,” said Mr Chongsue.
Ms Alisi Tokailagi of the Lautoka Health Office said the consultation was informative and educational.
“My expectations in attending this consultation was to try and understand the process of how the desludging activities will be carried out and to hear some of the control strategies that WAF has in place. I enjoyed coming to the consultation because I was actually able to know how Water Authority is trying to carry out its remedial actions and all these activities in regards to wastewater treatment,” said Ms Tokailagi.
Meanwhile, the project is being contracted to Intergroup Limited and is expected to take place for a period of six to twelve months at the Natabua Wastewater Treatment Plant in Lautoka. Desludging works are also earmarked to take place at the Olosara Wastewater Treatment Plant in Sigatoka as well as at the Navakai Wastewater Treatment Plant in Nadi.