People in Labasa are reported to be using water from sewer pipes because it has been without piped water since Cyclone Ami struck on Tuesday.
The Daily Post newspaper says other people are resorting to floodwater or water trapped in underground chambers housing telecommunication cables to drink, bathe and clean up the mud left by the cyclone.
Residents are quoted as saying they have no other choice if they are to stay alive.
Other residents claim that government trucks have been delivering water only to the rich and influential, and not to those who need it most.
The health ministry has warned people using contaminated water that they face the risk of diarrhoea and leptospirosis.
The ministry of works says its empoyees are working 24 hour shifts to restore supplies.