The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) has outsourced 32 rural water projects to three local contractors namely, Ariyan’s Contractors, Basic Engineering Technologies and Taviraki Building & Civil Works.
At the contract signing held at the Authority’s National Office in Wainivula on Friday (23/02), WAF Chief Operating Officer, Mr Samanmal Ekanayake, said the outsourcing model that the Authority is implementing empowers the community by paying the water committee to organise the labour required to undertake the works.
“This empowers the Water Committee to be responsible for ongoing maintenance and repairs, thus ensuring the longevity and sustainability of their village water supply system. Further, it builds the local capacity of contractors to undertake water supply construction work,” said Mr Ekanayake.
“The contractors will provide the skilled labour and will be working with the water committees, who will organise unskilled labour. A contract sum will be paid into the village water committees’ account for their labour, which can be used for maintenance and upkeep,” said WAF’s Manager for Rural Development Affairs, Mr Vula Vakacegu.
Ariyan’s Contractors were awarded with 11 projects in the Northern Division, nine in the Cakaudrove province and two in the province of Bua, from which a total of 1,790 people will benefit from the projects.
Basic Engineering Technologies were awarded with 13 projects in the Central Division, all in the Naitasiri Province, where a total of 11,655 people will benefit from the projects.
Taviraki Building & Civil Works were awarded with eight projects in the Tailevu Province, which will benefit 12, 415 people.
Mr Ekanayake said the total cost of the 32 rural water projects is over one million dollars. He said the WAF would continue to implement works that will ensure Fijians have access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation.