19 Dec 2002

Past Fiji Governments blamed for water crisis

5:43 pm on 19 December 2002

Fiji's Minister of Works, Savenaca Draunidalo, is blaming past governments for the water crisis currently hitting large parts of the capital Suva and its surroundings as well as Lautoka and other areas of the west.

Colonel Draunidalo says past governments failed to allocate funds to develop water resources, treatment facilities and manpower skills.

He has appealed to people without water to be patient because changes could not be made overnight.

The Minister's comments came as people desperate for water were reported to be digging up dry river beds in Ba to try and find some water.

In other areas, people are reported to be using water from dirty swamps, creeks and rivers for washing and for cattle, posing serious health risks.

Farmers in the west are also reported to be bracing themselves to lose their livestock because of the prolonged drought in the west.