$8.5 Billion Plan to Address Water Woes

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Fiji requires $8.5 billion to transform its water sector, including renewing aging infrastructure and enhancing service delivery over the next three decades, according to Minister for Public Works Ro Filipe Tuisawau.

The figures, Ro Filipe told Fiji Parliament via his ministerial statement today, were ascertained via a National Water Sector Strategy unveiled earlier this month, spearheaded by the Water Authority of Fiji to not only address water and sanitation issues in the country but also ensure robust, climate-resilient infrastructure.

Tuisawau said collaboration with development partners, including the Asia Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and World Bank, will be crucial in mobilising the necessary funding and expertise to realise Fiji’s water sector vision. The government is also exploring public-private partnerships and seeking climate finance opportunities to meet the $8.5 billion investment target over the next three decades.

Of the total investment required, $3.5 billion is earmarked for improving assets, including those that need replacement as they near the end of their life, while $5 billion is allocated for investments in wastewater and sanitation.

Fiji’s water supply system currently grapples with a staggering 47% loss of clean water, exacerbated by over 125 pipe leaks for every 100 kilometers of water pipelines. Only 17% of urban residents or customers have access to sewer sanitation infrastructure, while 70% rely on septic systems.

The strategy also explores providing water to areas that are not currently serviced.

Key projects outlined in the strategy include the establishment of water treatment hubs and the expansion of infrastructure across various parts of Fiji, including Seaqaqa in the North, Keiyasi, Nadarivatu in the West, and Wainadoi in the central division, to extend access.

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