The people of Vunaqoru and Koroua village along the Sigatoka Valley had a good reason to celebrate this week after boreholes for safe drinking water was officially commissioned by the Minister for Women , Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa. These two boreholes were made possible through a project that was headed by the British American Tobacco (BAT).

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation commissioned the boreholes under the Project Aqua of the BAT Fiji. While officiating at the commissioning, Vuniwaqa said that under the 2013 Constitution and Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals, it is the fundamental right of every human being to have access to quality water, and the Fijian Government in accordance to that is working to achieve this access for every Fijian.
 
Vuniwaqa added that the borehole will contribute to secure a more sustainable water supply for the people of Vunaqoru and  Koroua village. 

BAT Fiji has been operating in Fiji for 63 years and they contribute towards Fiji’s tobacco industry and to the Fijian economy. Their operations include local tobacco farming and the manufacture, sale and distribution of tobacco products for domestic and export markets.

Vuniwaqa reiterated to the villagers that the Fijian Government has allocated a total budget of over $300 million to the Water Authority of Fiji to continue in providing quality drinking water and waste water services to over 164,000 residential and non-residential customers.
 
“The lack of access to water and sanitation can undo the progress we have made in the areas of development, human dignity, and peace and security,” Vuniwaqa added.

The ‘Turaga ni Yavusa Koroma ‘, Petero Ravouvou and ‘Turaga ni Mataqali Volivoli ‘ thanked the British American Tobacco Fiji and the Fijian Government for working together with the communities in their economic and social development. 

Navitalai Matalau, the village headmen of Vunaqoru village said that the borehole will assist the 301 village members in the community in their daily necessities. 

Seventy year old Paulina Lewatuvi of Koroua Village was grateful to witness this achievement while still alive and said “We usually get our water from the rivers but today we have our own tap water in our house so it will make work easier for us, the elderly in Koroua. 

 

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