More than 500 villagers of Mataniwai Village in Macuata and sugarcane farming families in nearby communities now have consistent access to safe and clean drinking water.
This followed the commissioning of their village water project by Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu yesterday.
The project was completed under the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management’s Self Help Programme.
The Government provided funding worth $16,500 for material costs while the community members provided manpower to lay out piping systems and upgrade the reservoir.
Mataniwai Village headman Mr Sailosi Tuidrokadroka said villagers of Mataniwai had been facing water problems for a long time.
“Our reservoir had started leaking for the past 15 years so sometimes we have had to close the reservoir just so we could cater for our villagers alone,” Mr. Tuidrokadroka said.
“By doing this, those in our neighbouring communities would not get water.”
“But today we thank Government for extending a helping hand towards us with this project. We are all so happy.”
While speaking during the commissioning, Minister Seruiratu reminded villagers of Mataniwai that developments must be jointly done between Government and villagers.
“Government has its responsibility to carry out developments and we the people also have our responsibility,” Minister Seruiratu said.
“All of us want developments to be carried out in our communities so we will work together.”
Minister Seruiratu also said it was Government’s hope that the newly commissioned water project would bring much relief and also improve livelihoods of Fijians who would benefit from the project.
The Self-Help Programme assists rural dwellers in the construction of basic amenities and other small projects.
The programme encourages communities to initiate their socio economic sustainable development projects on a cost sharing basis with government, and by doing so, it aims to instil a sense of community ownership over these initiatives.