Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka with community members of Togoru in Navua after the commissioning of their water project last Friday.
SUVA – “I am so grateful that the Government came in to help us with the water.”
These were the sentiments shared by 70-year-old Ms. Lavenia McGoon as she witnessed the commissioning of their new and improved water source funded by Government under the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development’s Self-Help Programme (SHP).
For years, Mrs McGoon and her family have had to rely on pond water and rainwater to sustain them daily.
“When I got married here, we used to use pond water. We had two ponds. There was no fresh water, but just water tanks and drums. We cooked, we washed and bathed in water from the pond. We really learned the hard way and we were taught to be very careful with water. When Government came in, I really appreciated what they have done for us,” said Mrs McGoon.
“Now I’ve got a flush toilet. Before we used to use pit toilet. That was life. But I am so grateful that Government came in and helped us with the water problem here.”
The community of Togoru previously no water source, with only rainwater being their primary water source.
The Togoru/Taiperia Water Project is intended to provide wholesome, clean and hygienic drinking water to the people of Togoru. It will also ensure that community members have access to safe and clean drinking water.
The project which was completed at a cost of more than $15,000 also features risk-informed development (RID) measures to ensure the sustainability and resilience of the project.
In handing over the project, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka said the Togoru/Taiperia Water Project provided a positive impact to the daily lives of individuals, including vulnerable groups such as women, children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
“Your Government is bringing you a new standard of infrastructure that will address your community request needs in accessing a more consistent, clean and safe drinking water, of which this has been an issue in the past. With this standard, communities may no longer have to worry about water or coastal inundation which normally affects their water sources in events of flooding,” Hon. Ditoka said.
“Going forward, the Ministry urges the community to form your Water Committee if this is yet to be in place. The Committee is to support and oversee the administration and maintenance of these facilities to ensure sustainability.”
Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka takes a glass of water as Togoru resident Ms. Lavenia McGoon looks on.
The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management is responsible for implementing development strategies that bring Fijians living in rural and maritime regions the same level of access to essential services and economic opportunities as anywhere else in the country. We coordinate and implement the Fiji Government’s rural and maritime development initiatives with a mission to empower Fiji’s rural sector. We also spearhead disaster risk reduction initiatives at national and sub-national level including disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. We have offices for each of Fiji’s 14 provinces including Rotuma, leading the Fiji Government’s rural development and disaster risk management operations.
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