Water will be a key focal area in the upcoming National Economic Summit, to be organized by the Ministry of Finance. The Water Authority of Fiji CEO Dr Amit Chanan has welcomed the news, noting water plays a vital role in the Fijian economy be it tourism, food security, urban development and the emerging circular economy.
The Water Authority will work with the Ministry of Finance to engage with key stakeholders at the National Economic Summit to kickstart the ‘Water Sector Strategy 2050’, which will outline Fiji’s water sector priority projects and programs over the next three decades.
Water Sector 2050 is aimed at transforming how services are delivered, responding to climate vulnerability to services, renewing our ageing water and wastewater infrastructure, contributing to the circular economy, taking the water sector to net zero emissions and enhancing the natural environment.
“The National Economic Summit is looking at the key elements of Fiji’s economy, with Water categorised as a vital pillar. The Ministry of Finance looks forward to working with the Water Authority of Fiji in developing the Water Sector 2050 – looking at the important role water plays and will continue to play from now to 2050 in driving Fiji’s economy,” said Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance, Mr Shiri Gounder.
Meanwhile, in a briefing earlier today (26/01) with the Minister for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Biman Prasad welcomed the work that WAF is starting on ‘Water Sector 2050’, stating that such long-term planning is absolutely critical for essential infrastructure like water.
Hon. Prasad acknowledged the important role that WAF plays in terms of ensuring all Fijians have access to clean drinking water.
“I am interested in how we can resolve some of the pending issues, particularly when there are water cuts. Water is critical, you can go without electricity – but not without water. I want Water Authority to become very efficient and make sure that when there is a water disruption, alternate options such as water carting is available for everyone,” explained Hon. Prasad.
In addition, the Hon. Prasad reassured and reaffirmed the Fiji Government’s support for the water and wastewater sector.
Dr Chanan provided a brief overview of the roles of the Water Authority of Fiji and discussed further strengthening areas that needed attention such as investment in Non-Revenue Water and wastewater treatment to improve environmental compliance.
Also in attendance was the Assistant Minister for Finance, Hon. Esrom Immanuel and WAF Board Chairman, Mr Bhavesh Patel as well as the WAF Executive Management.