Government to review existing water laws

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The Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities will be reviewing existing water laws to streamline various stakeholder functions and powers for effective water and sanitation management in Fiji.

This was highlighted by the Minister of Works, Mr Timoci Natuva during the Water Supply Management Training for Ministry of Health in conjunction with Department of Water and Sewerage held in Suva today.

The workshop aims to provide an opportunity for relevant experts and policy advisors to discuss on key water related issues affecting Fiji and seek possible solutions.

Minister Natuva says a consultation with relevant stakeholders found that the rural population are lagging behind in terms of access to clean water and efficient sewerage services.

“The analysis also confirmed an enabling over-arching water legislation to cover all the issue about water allocations, water tariffs in Fiji is lacking,” said Mr Natuva.

“The new legislation should provide the required legal framework for water supply management in Fiji,” Minister Natuva said.

He highlighted that it should also provide the platform for coordination among agencies and sets the direction of national positions and priorities regarding rural water and sanitation issues.”

Under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Fiji is trying its best to achieve the target of reducing by half, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by year 2015.

Fiji’s Rural water and sanitation scheme was allocated a total of $5 million under the 2014 budget.

Minister Natuva urged all stakeholders to learn and share ideas and experiences to benefit the community and its people on effective water and sanitation management in Fiji.