Sa tiko sobu na Yavusa Bolabola, vua na Turaga na Tui Davutikia;Senior Government officials;Representatives from the Water Authority of Fiji;Villagers of Nalebaleba;Ladies and Gentlemen;
Muju cola vina and a very good afternoon to you all.
It is indeed a great pleasure to be here in Nadroga/ Navosa this afternoon to officiate at the commissioning of the Nalebaleba Village Rural Water project.
At the outset, I wish to convey my sincere gratitude to the traditional welcome accorded to the Government team that are here for the commissioning ceremony this afternoon. Vinaka vakalevu.
I would also like to thank the Water Authority of Fiji team, the Village water committee and villagers who have worked tirelessly in making this project a reality.
Ladies and Gentlemen, access to clean water is not only a basic need of mankind, but a necessity to sustain all forms of life. Our daily lives revolve around the necessity of water.
In recognition of this, the Fijian Constitution enshrines the right to clean water access for every Fijian, mandating Government through the Water Authority of Fiji to give every person adequate access to safe and quality water.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fiji’s 5 Year and 20 Year National Development Plan sets an ambitious target to have 100% access to safe, drinking water by 2030.
Currently 78% of Fiji’s population has access to safe, clean water and Government is optimistic that this target will be achieved as planned.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is Government’s intent that no one is left behind particularly our rural dwellers in all provinces including Nadroga/ Navosa.
In the last five (5) years, Government through Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) had allocated Six Point Two Million Dollars ($6.2M) towards Rural Water Projects in the province of Nadroga/Navosa. This has seen the implementation of forty-nine (49) Rural Water Projects within the province.
The completion of these projects including the one we are commissioning today is a step closer towards meeting the national 100% water access target.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the construction of this water project has cost a hundred and ninety three thousand dollars ($193,000) and it is an investment we are happy to make, because from clean water flow many benefits that keep us more productive and more resilient to environmental hardships.
To guarantee a clean and steady flow of water to the people of your community, there is a construction of a new forty five thousand (45,000) litres cement tank, lying of pipeline, and installations of fifteen (15) stand pipes and showers.
Ladies and Gentlemen, every Fijian deserves to live with the security and happiness that only clean water can provide. Government has again and again made the extension of essential services such as water to our rural community a top priority.
In this regard, Government through WAF, has set aside a total budget of Eleven Point Three Million Dollars ($11.3M) for the 2019/2020 financial year to implement thirty two (32) water schemes in the rural areas around Fiji.
Furthermore, WAF through its Rainwater Harvesting Scheme is distributing water tanks to non-metered areas. Since the inception of the scheme, WAF has distributed more than Eleven Thousand Four Hundred (11,400) water tanks nationwide of which One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty Eight (1738) were distributed to the province of Nadroga/ Navosa. In the new financial year, a budget of Three Million Dollars ($3M) has been allocated to continue this scheme.
To conclude, I wish to leave you with a message and that is – “Every Drop of Water Counts”. You will never know the worth of water until it is dry. So, conserve water and use it wisely. Government has brought clean drinking water to your doorstep – it is your responsibility to ensure that it is put to good use.
With those words ladies and gentlemen, I now have great pleasure in declaring the new Nalebaleba Village Rural Water Project open.
Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you. God Bless Fiji.