18 Jul 2007

Fiji centres suffer serious disruption to water supply

4:34 pm on 18 July 2007

Most parts of the Fiji capital, Suva, and heavily populated areas stretching for many kilometres around it have been without a piped water supply again since Monday.

Hundreds of school children have had to be sent home because of fears for their health and some factories have shut down with workers being stood down.

The interim minister for public utilities, Jone Vakamocea, has blamed old pumps which have been breaking down after ten years of continuous use.

Water engineer Samuela Tubui says for this reason water supply problems in the greater Suva-Nausori area are likely to continue.

The large western towns of Lautoka and Ba have also had intermittent water as engineers ration supplies because of low levels in reservoirs.

Fiji has had lower than average rainfall for this time of the year and the Nadi Weather Centre is warning that normal rainfall may not return to the western division until September.

Water supply problems have been chronic in most parts of Fiji for several years despite the country experiencing high rainfall most of the time.