Paramount Chief of Viria in Naitasiri Vunivalu, Ratu Joseva Malobitu has given his approval for the opening and accessibility of the Water Treatment Plant project.
When questioned by FBC News about the village’s course of action if the government fails to meet their stipulated demands, Ratu Joseva says the compensation is reasonable, considering it is a one-time payout.
The villagers are asking for nine million dollars in compensation, a consistent water supply for five villages and road rehabilitation.
Ratu Joseva emphasizes witnessing the water project’s impact on their fishing grounds.
“I have accepted the request from the government to have the water project built in Viria and I want this project to be completed because I want Fijians to have access to safe drinking water especially those who have been continuously affected by water cuts. What we are requesting is a small compensation and we have every right to do this and this will be up to the government to decide.”
Water Authority of Fiji Chief Executive, Amit Chanan confirmed the recent conclusion of the trial operation phase last month.
Water Authority of Fiji Chief Executive, Amit Chanan
He states the water project has successfully demonstrated its designed capacity to the satisfaction of engineers.
“The discussion with Viria landowners continues and our Honorable line Minister, the Minister for Public Services and Meteorological Services is in discussions so I can’t really comment more on that, he is personally leading the charge and he is having discussions with the vanua.”
The Viria Water Project is set to produce 40 million litres of water daily.
Currently, water is supplied to the East side of Rewa with the commissioning certificate pending issuance and awaiting the required documentation from contractors.