It was a day of celebration for the people of Wainiveli Settlement in Levuka when the Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty, Veena Bhatnagar handed over two, 500 litter water tanks to the community.
The hand-over was a result of the REACH Project’s community based services last year in Ovalau, whereby the need to address the issue of the inaccessibility to clean water in the community was identified and a commitment was made to do so by providing them with water tanks.
While speaking at the official handing over ceremony, Assistant Minister Bhatnagar said the effects of having no or little access to safe drinking water and sanitation was detrimental to the lives of Fijians.
“The most adversely affected happen to be our children,” she said.
She said the assistance would be life changing for the individual families and would also complement the efforts of the Government in providing access to clean and safe drinking water in the rural areas.
“These water tanks would not only make clean water accessible to this community, but also aligns itself to the Government’s sustainability and human rights goals,” Assistant Minister Bhatnagar said.
She emphasized that by putting the people first, the Government commits to proper water supply with improved living standards where children will be safe and women will be economically driven to support the sustainability of their livelihood.
With this initiative from the REACH Project, the Government moves towards achieving its goal to have 100 percent of Fiji’s urban population access clean and safe water by 2021; and rural and maritime areas by 2030.
The Government has also allocated resources for sustained maintenance and construction of new water treatment plants, reservoirs and reticulations systems, rural water schemes, development of ground water sources, setting up desalination plants in the maritime region together with distribution of water tanks in rural areas.
Lovoni village chief, Ratu Petero Rogoyawa, on behalf of the community acknowledged the Government and the Ministry for reaching out to them with the vision of an improved and more fulfilling life, more so for those that fall within the vulnerable groups in their community.
A 5000 litter will also be provided to the community in the near future.