Clean drinking water supply at last after 70-years for the people of Vio Island off the coast of Lautoka.
“This is a dream come true for us, finally after 70 long years our cries and pleas have been heard,” an emotional Vio Island village headman Semi Mana said during an interview yesterday.
Overjoyed villagers heaped praises on the Government after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama commissioned a $500,000 worth, 650-metre under-sea pipeline connecting Vio Island with the Water Authority of Fiji’s (WAF) Lautoka Depot.
Now more than 230 people will have access to clean drinking water.
“We really do not know what to say, but to thank God for our current Government and for touching our hearts by hearing the cries of more than 230 people. Our pleas have always fallen on deaf ears for so long,” Mr Mana said.
In addition, he is grateful to the Government for keeping its promise, adding that it was something previous administrations badly lacked.
“Now our children can have clean drinking water right from the source, connected via these pipe lines. Believe me when I say this is indeed a prayer answered and dream come true for us,” Mr Mana said.
In his address Mr Bainimarama reminded and urged the people of Vio not to take their new water source for granted.
“So I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to build a culture of responsible water use from the very start because by doing so, this investment will be sure to pay off for many generations to come.” PM Bainimarama said.
The event whereby drinking water is brought and made accessibly easier for them is indeed a milestone in the history of Vio Islanders and visitors.
“Access to quality water is essential it is a fundamental right that has been enshrined in our Constitution and it is a promise my Government has made to Vio and to all of Fiji, no matter the geographic obstacles that stands in the way,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“Ladies and gentlemen, whenever I have plans to open a new water project or to announce my Government’s latest plans for one, I know that it is going to be a good day on my busy calendar and I know that it is going to be an emotional one as well.”
He said the sight of water coming out of the tap signified the dawn of a new day and more than anything the provision of water represented progress.
“It represents the coming of a new day and it represents a brighter future for our children and grandchildren, who we thank God will never have to go without regular water access like so many of us have.”
He said those days when people of Vio Island went through a lot of hassles to get clean drinking water were history.