The water supply in the Nadi and Lautoka areas is now 90% restored following the completion of the planned Nagado Water Shutdown over the weekend.
WAF Board Director, Mr Kamal Gounder, thanked the members of the public in the affected areas for taking heed of the notices and storing water to sustain them during the water disruption period.
Mr Gounder said it was a challenge for WAF in ensuring that the public had water during the disruption.
“Ensuring the availability of the drinking water requirement of 165,000 customers, including the hotel sector and other businesses during the shutdown period was the major challenge that WAF faced during our planning phase. But with proper planning, we were able to meet the challenge. Awareness amongst the public, major customers including hotels, businesses and Government institutions helped WAF to achieve the goal,” said Mr Gounder.
“Adverse weather, maintaining drinking water standards in water tanks, and availability of limited water cart trucks were other challenges that we had to overcome. However, with advanced planning, WAF managed to face to the situation.”
Mr Gounder said that lessons were learnt after successfully completing the repairs to the leaking Vanessa valve at the Nagado Water Treatment Plant.
“We identified certain sections within the water distribution network that are weaker and sensitive to pressure variations. That information will be helpful for future operations. There are some more minor points picked up during the operations that could be further improved,” said Mr Gounder.
President for Fiji and Tourism Association, Mr Dixon Seeto, praised WAF for its commitment in providing excellent service during the disruption period
“The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association appreciates WAF’s commitment in providing excellent service during the disruption period. WAF has been facilitating all water carting request in a timely manner to the hoteliers,” said Mr Seeto.
“Water Authority of Fiji’s consultation with the hoteliers regarding the shutdown period notified us one month prior to shutdown, which gave hoteliers ample time to fill their reserve tanks. The water repairs progress update was forecasted and was well informed. The hoteliers are very thankful for the massive awareness that was conducted by WAF. There was a great collaboration between WAF and Fiji Hotel association and we will continue to strengthen the stakeholder relationship,” said Mr Seeto.
Lala Sowane – Director Operations Pacific Destinations Fiji, said, “The advance notice really helped us plan make sure our operations were not impacted at all by the water disruption. And we’ve not heard anyone say anything negative about the water disruption so far, so the advance notice was very helpful and the constant notices kept it in mind for us, so the constant reminders I think as late as Friday I received a text message about the water disruption.”
Carreras Resident, Ms Kolora Mason appreciated WAF’s approach to the planned water disruption, saying, “The Water Authority of Fiji did really well in terms of giving us advance notice. I live in Carreras in Votualevu and we definitely would have been impacted by the water cuts. We personally at home don’t have a tank, but with the advance notice we were able to store enough water that took us through the weekend. We had a bit of water on Saturday morning (03/02), which was a surprise but then towards mid-morning it went completely off and on Sunday we didn’t have any water supply at all. But our stock of water, that was able to sustain us throughout the weekend. This morning preparing us for work, we were quite surprised to have a shower, because we were anticipating that there would be no water till today (06/02), so we were pleasantly surprised.”
“Fortunately in this situation, there was no need to call the Water Authority of Fiji to come and refill our tanks. However, we did see the water carting trucks around our area quite frequently. It was comforting to know that if we called, the trucks were on hand.”
“Thank you to the Water Authority of Fiji for being very proactive in their approach with this water cut. I know from a personal side, just talking to friends everyone really made the effort to ensure that their homes and families were well supplied with water.”
Wairebetia Resident, Arif Ali, said water supply normalised in his area 6am Monday morning (05/02).
“I am grateful that the water supply has been restored because water is the main thing in life. During the water shutdown I relied on our water tank. I did not face any problem because the water carting trucks were going around in my area until half past eleven. I heard about this water shutdown and I prepared myself for it by getting the drums filled and the rain water was also a source for us,” said Mr Ali.
Nasoso Resident, Elenoa Boseiwaqa was grateful that water supply normalised before the time given.
“Today (05/02) we are very happy that water supply is back to normal at home and that it came early. I am grateful that the Water Authority of Fiji was able to do the repairs on time because I have a little baby and we were wondering on how to cope with things. Once again, I would like to thank the Water Authority for doing their job well and that water came back on before the planned time, 5pm Tuesday (06/02).
Meanwhile, WAF’s Board Director said that WAF has capacity to undertake similar operations in the future and added that the relationship with customers “is the most important thing towards success.”
Finally, Mr Gounder on behalf of the Board thanked the management and the staff of the Authority for their hard work and commitment during to shutdown period. He added that with teamwork and proper planning anything is possible. He urged staff to continue to provide better and efficient service to the Fijian population.