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Don't ignore basic science, WAF urges NFP

March 11, 2021 4:42 pm
WAF Chair, Bhavesh Kumar [left] and National Federation Party Leader Biman Prasad

The Water Authority of Fiji has slammed National Federation Party Leader Biman Prasad’s comments saying they are ignorant and unwarranted.

WAF Chair, Bhavesh Kumar says their infrastructure, which was built decades ago, was not designed to cater for about 600,000 people in the Central Division.

Kumar says WAF teams work long hours to provide water to Fijians and when the aging infrastructure breaks, these teams are on the ground conducting repairs.

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Kumar claims Prasad has very little understanding of the basic science of treating water, and the technical aspects of water treatment and services.

This is in response to NFP comments that there is no water when it doesn’t rain, and there is no water in the taps when it rains.

He adds due to the high rainfall, the intakes at Waimanu River faced very high turbidity and debris, resulting in major blockages.

Sigatoka also faced similar issues.

Kumar also says lack of rain leads to low water levels in reservoirs, and too much rain causes flooding, leading to debris blockages and dirt in water which requires teams to dive down and clear it.

The WAF Chair says they don’t have a crystal ball to predict burst mains, however they do respond immediately.

He adds that teams face high risks, diving into the wells, and cleaning the intake so water can be pumped up to the Tamavua Water Treatment plant.

He stresses WAF cannot treat all the water because high turbidity reduces treatment capacity by upto 30 percent and due to reduced capacity, there are going to be water shortages in some areas.

Kumar says the Waila and Tamavua Water Treatment plants are running well above capacity due to the rural-urban drift which has seen a high concentration of population between Lami and Nausori.

He adds they’ve addressed water shortage areas in the Suva-Nausori corridor through an investment of 300 million dollars. This refers to Viria Water Treatment Plant with the capacity of 40 million litres per day, which can be expanded to 100 million litres in the future.

WAF has invited Prasad to tour the site which is currently under construction so that he can see for himself and stop making false and misleading statements.

The Chair also questions why Prasad will only provide a plan for water services and infrastructure if NFP gets into Government.

He adds if Prasad has a real, non-fictional plan to improve water services, WAF urges him to send it over instead of waiting to form government.

Kumar says such a plan, if it exists, will immensely help Fiji and for water, they must cast politics aside and do what is good for Fijians.

The WAF Chair adds Prasad’s tirade is an insult to every hard-working WAF team member, who sacrifices their evenings and weekends to make sure that Prasad has water in his tap, while he comfortably sits in his air-conditioned office, and at home, complaining on Facebook.

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