2 Jul 2002

Fiji district officer says water problem is severe

4:05 pm on 2 July 2002

Two schools and a hospital on a Fiji government station on the island of Vunisea are to remain closed under a state of emergency due to a lack of water.

District officer, Josefa Kama, says water is only available for a few hours in the morning and that's unlikely to change for at least a week.

Mr Kama says the state of emergency will remain in place until the Public works department in Suva has sorted out the problem.

"As far as we are concerned, the department had approved the $300,000 to up grade the feeding pipe, from 3days ago, to Vunisea treatment plant and that has still to materialize. Nothing has been given to us in writing or confirmed by the water supply. What thay have taken now, is immediate measures to at least have water, coming into the station, whatever little supply that we have to keep us going."

Mr Kama says the station's new tank can't be used because of too low pressure.

The state of emergency means government serivces for the nearly 10,000 people of Kadavu have been temporarily suspended.

Mr Kama says doctors are prepared to deal with emergency cases and the police remain available.