By Ben PateyPublished August 15, 2018 09:00:00The Fiji Islands government is facing a growing water crisis after years of heavy rain, and is working on a plan to help solve the problem, which is expected to cost the country $2.8 billion a year.
Key points:Fiji’s river systems are facing a severe water crisisAfter heavy rains in 2017, the government installed dams and water pumps, which are now running out of waterThe Government says the cost of maintaining dams and pumps has balloonedThe Government has said that the cost for maintaining the dams and pumping stations has balloonED to nearly $2 billion annually, with the main source of water coming from the ocean and the Pacific Ocean, which it blames for the drought.
In the first year of the crisis, the country was forced to pump around $2 million a day into the rivers, which now run dry.
This year, water levels in the rivers have dropped significantly and are now only reaching the level of about 20 centimetres (3.6 inches).
This has led to an urgent need for water conservation measures, including a new water-use plan for the country.
Fiji is facing its second drought in just over a year, and the water crisis is also having a dramatic impact on the economy.
More than 20,000 hectares of Fiji’s farmland have been submerged, according to a study by the International Institute for Environment and Development.
Fisheries Minister and Fiji Islands Prime Minister, Dr. David Kawana, has said it will take the government more than a decade to rebuild, and that water conservation has been the only thing keeping Fiji afloat.
“We have a lot of water and we are working on our dams and the pumps and the reservoirs.
But the situation is very serious,” Dr Kawana told the BBC in March.”
Water levels are dropping, so we have to work on water conservation.”
If we don’t have water we cannot get any work done.
“Fiji has installed dams on more than 6,000 acres, and has more than 2,000 water-saving pumps, according the Environment Ministry.
This has helped to keep the country afloat, but Dr Kawanas warning of a looming water crisis has not stopped other governments from trying to solve the crisis.
He said that Fiji’s water use will increase to 10 per cent of the nation’s total water use by 2021.
The Government’s Water and Sanitation Department has said the cost to maintain the dams has balloonEfforts to reduce the amount of water needed for agriculture have also fallen short.
More and more farmers are facing problems.
The Fiji Farmers Union (FPU) said the country is facing an economic crisis because the country has not produced enough water for irrigation.”
Farmers are not getting the amount they need,” the FPU’s chief executive, David Hira, told the Reuters news agency.”
The country is in a dire situation because we have no water.
“Dr Kawana has warned that the drought will only worsen unless more resources are provided.”
It is very difficult for the farmers.
We need water, but the farmers are not providing the water.
The farmers have to rely on the government,” he said.”
Without water, it is very, very difficult to get any farm working, to grow anything.
It is a very,very, difficult situation.””
The situation is a humanitarian emergency,” Dr Pateey said.
The government is also trying to help farmers, who are facing severe financial difficulties, by paying them to water their crops.
But the problem is that farmers cannot pay for their water, as they do not have bank accounts.”
They are being asked to pay the amount that they can afford.
But that is not enough.
We are asking farmers to give us water,” Dr Hira said.
Dr Kawanas hopes that a new irrigation scheme will be implemented in 2019, but he said it would take time.”
What we need is more water, not more money.
If we are to get water, we need to get the water from the rivers,” he told the Associated Press news agency last month.