The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) is now investigating some companies contracted to provide water carting services in Fiji’s Northern Division after several complaints were made alleging discriminatory behaviour towards Fijians.
Labasa is currently facing water disruption after 4 burst mains which WAF teams are working 24/7 to fix.
“Residents in affected areas contacted WAF and alleged that water carting truck drivers were being rude and in cases deliberately missing their areas for places where they knew people,” said WAF CEO, Mr Barry Omundson.
“This behaviour is unwarranted and unacceptable, and we will terminate any contractor who participates in this.”
The Authority has suspended water disconnections until 31 March 2021, in order to ensure that Fijians who are impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19 have access to water.
“The Water Authority of Fiji does not discriminate based on anyone’s background and we will ensure that contractors who are indulging in such activities are held accountable and taken to task,” the CEO said.
“Our mandate is to ensure that every Fijian, regardless of demographic, location or socioeconomic background is able to access our services and we will continue to ensure that every Fijian gets access to water.”
“Investigations into the alleged misconduct and discriminatory behaviour have begun.”
Mr Omundson also urged Fijians to be mindful of water levels at WAF dams which are at critical levels due to the drought season.
“Water rates in Fiji are some of the cheapest in the world, however, we must not take water for granted and ensure that we are conserving water.”
“During times like these where the whole world is suffering from a pandemic, it is more important than ever before to think about our fellow Fijians. Wasting water will affect your entire community,” Mr Omundson said.
WAF urges Fijians to store up to 2-days of drinking water at all times, especially during this drought season.