Water sources in Lau are safe to drink, according to Fiji’s Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, after tests of water samples collected from some of the islands recorded pH readings regarded suitable for drinking.
A statement from the ministry stated that samples collected from villages in the islands of Vanuabalavu, Moala, Moce and Lakeba “indicated that the pH and conductivity value of the water samples from the village were satisfactory.”
Dr Waqainabete said they had to carry out the tests to ensure that volcanic ash from the volcanic eruption in Tonga recently was not present in the water.
“The water may taste salty but this is due to the fact that seawater intrusion may have filtered into the water source by the strong sea breeze and this is temporary,” said Dr Waqainabete who also led a medical team that were part of the Australian Government funded trip on board the MV Iloilovatu and MV Veivueti that visited villages in Lau located close to Tonga.
He added the pH and conductivity value are derived from the Fiji National Drinking Water Standards provided by the Ministry of Health and Medical Service to ensure drinking water is safe.
Apart from testing water samples, Dr Waqainabete said the teams also distributed food packs, wash kits and aquatabs to villages in Lau.
Photo: Ministry of Health Fiji