New Zealand High Commission Suva, Fiji
NZ govt funds water project for Namacawa Village
In a bid to provide safe drinking water to a community in the interior of Viti Levu, New Zealand Government financial assistance of $14,600 was given towards a water project in Navosa Province.
Working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Fiji (HFHF) and the villagers, the New Zealand High Commission (NZHC) funded construction of a completely new and safe water system for the Namacawa community.
During the official commissioning of the water project, Acting Head of Mission, Phillip Taula said he was pleased to support such a developmental initiative as safe drinking water is the most basic need.
“A good supply of water will improve hygiene, prevent illness and promote better health for the community,” said Mr Taula.
He said easy access to piped water within the community will greatly improve the lives of the people.
Mr Taula also commended HFHF’s recently launched Community Water Programme that assists rural Fijian communities meet their needs for clean water.
Namacawa village is located in Sigatoka river valley, a remote farming community which has had difficulty accessing grant assistance in the past due to its location. The village had an inadequate and unsafe supply of water.
The source was a small catchment/dam that could not keep up with demand and routinely dried up.
There was a risk to public health as residents were sometimes drinking contaminated river water. People faced difficulties hauling water in cans and drums to their homes. They depended largely on river water for cooking, washing and bathing.
Namacawa village also recorded two outbreaks of typhoid fever last year.
Villagers identified a reliable source of fresh water in a protected area high above the community. This new source continues to flow throughout the dry season, provides sufficient supply for the village and is undisturbed by domestic animals.
Through the technical support of HFHF expertise and village labour the new dam was constructed on the source and a pipeline runs from the dam to a 5000-litre plastic tank located above the community.
Four standpipes with water taps are connected to the water tank and are located throughout the village.
Now the entire community benefits from the provision of a clean water source.
It is also anticipated that the improved water supply will encourage families living in nearby settlements to move into the village.
As part of HFHF’s standard procedures the community has formed a water committee to oversee the long-term sustainability of the completed project.
HFHF’s programme provides sustainability by encouraging community involvement, onsite training and promoting ownership of the new water system.