14 Apr 2003

Fiji city of Lautoka without water since the weekend

9:28 am on 14 April 2003

About 50 thousand people in and around Fiji's western city of Lautoka have been without water since Saturday morning.

The Fiji Times reports that this happened after a water main supplying the population burst twice.

It says the shortage forced thousands of residents to queue at public taps in parks and other areas which had a trickle of water.

The Public works department said it had only six water trucks and could not meet the need for emergency supplies.

Serious water supply problems in Fiji's urban areas, including the capital Suva, are chronic with the government saying an investment of 75 million US dollars in new infrastructure is needed to upgrade the system.