Usamate raises concerns over delayed Viria water project

February 20, 2024 12:32 pm

Viria water treatment plant

Opposition Member Jone Usamate has expressed concerns about the delayed opening of the Viria Water Project.

He has highlighted its adverse effects on Fijians in the Suva-Nausori corridor who are facing ongoing water shortages.

Usamate alleges that the FijiFirst government has engaged in discussions with landowners to address their concerns particularly related to qoliqoli or fishing grounds.

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He confirms that the leaders of Viria Village have presented requests including free water supply for five villages, road rehabilitation and compensation for qoliqoli grounds.

Viria villagers 

The former Infrastructure Minister discloses that an assessment was scheduled to be conducted by the Fisheries Minister to evaluate the project’s impact on fishing grounds.

Subsequently, he said the government would determine compensation for the Vanua o Viria based on the assessment.

“What is the delay? Because it has had an impact on people in this area as we know everyday we hear people complaining about water.”

In an earlier interview with FBC News, villagers had raised concerns about the lack of assessments regarding the Viria Water Project’s impact on their fishing grounds.

The Viria Chief also outlined three key demands including a $9 million compensation, a consistent water supply for five villages and road rehabilitation.

Chief Executive of the Water Authority of Fiji Amit Chanan recently confirmed the conclusion of the trial operation phase last month.

However, discussions with Viria landowners are ongoing, and the official opening of the water treatment project is still pending.

The Viria Water Project will produce 40 million litres of water daily.