Wailotua Naba Dua Village Headman, Rusiate Rakubulou, cried as he described the hardship they faced over the years without a proper water supply.
The 62-year-old headman joined fellow villagers in celebrating the commissioning of their water project by Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama on August 7, 2018.
“We have not had proper water supply as long as I can remember. Our women and children had to walk to Wairuarua Creek just to get drinking water when our tank and dam ran dry. When there is low water levels in the tank and dam we only open the tap in the morning and evening,” Mr Rakubulou said.
“Now the tank is overflowing. Now instead of getting water from the creek, families can spend more quality time together. I thank the Government for thinking of us. Now we have clean water and our children will have nothing to worry about,” he added.
Virisila Seinibulu (75), the oldest woman in the Village, was emotional as she described the hardship they faced when growing up.
“I cannot describe how thankful I am for being able to witness this today. I never thought that people of high position would think of us. The cries of the villagers have finally been heard and I am forever grateful to the Government of the day for hearing our cry,” she said.
Mr Bainimarama said he came to fulfil the promise that he gave to the villagers early this year.
“This project was made possible through our Small Grant Scheme. All requests for assistance run directly through my office, and because of this, I feel personally invested in their success.
It brings me great joy to watch them quickly progress from an idea, to a promise, to a reality that improves the lives of our people,” he said.
He said that ‘The Small Grants Scheme’ was designed for satisfying the needs of citizens, as requested directly by them.
“The lives of the Fijian people are not improved by watching from the side-lines, or even by creating new laws in Parliament. If our elected officials don’t take the time to hear out the concerns of ordinary Fijians, they lose touch with the reality of the needs of our people.”
Mr Bainimarama said that politicians will use different tactics to get votes.
“This is what makes people so frustrated and tired with politicians; and trust me, I share these feelings,” he said.
“I’m surrounded by them every day. But while I am your Prime Minister, I am first and foremost a fellow Fijian, and I promise never to lose sight of that. And I encourage all candidates to follow suit. I know that this project is no different, and that the over F$ 91,000 spent by Government to make it possible was money well-spent,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“The once unreliable water supply to Wailotua Village will now be a worry of the past. A new dam intake, new 45,000-litre storage reservoir, and new pipes will all come together to ensure a clean and steady flow of water to the people of your community, making for a healthier and happier future for you and your families,” Mr Bainimarama said.
By Special Arrangement with Fiji Sun
Turaga Na Tui Wailevu Wailotua Ratu Savenaca Bose with Prime Minister Bainimarama at the commissioning of the Wailotua Naba Dua Village Water project.
(Photo: DEPTFO News)