The goal of the Fiji Project is to work with the village residents of Buca, Loa, and Vunikura to provide them with a safe and reliable drinking water supply through advocating sustainability, community involvement, and project ownership. The long-term benefit of our work in Buca, Loa, and Vunikura will be a reliable and safe water supply that significantly reduces risk of waterborne illness such as typhoid, as well as infrastructure that has been sized and designed for better resiliency under different weather conditions and population growth within these three villages.
Our work began in 2008 after an outbreak of typhoid in the Buca Bay region. Since then, our team has made eight Implementation Trips to the area, completing a variety of improvements to the villages’ water supply, including:
Installation of 33 biosand filters (BSFs) across the three villages and guidance with their repairs and water quality monitoring
Upgrades of significant portions of the three villages' water distribution systems
Replacement of a large portion of the transmission main in the village of Buca
Installation of a 20,000-liter water storage tank in the village of Vunikura
Repair of leaking water infrastructure in the village of Loa
Currently, our project is carrying out continued implementation of water supply improvements to ensure sustainable long-term benefits in the communities we are working in. In our 2018 trip, the team intends to locate a additional water source for Vunikura and evaluate the community needs for water supply, distribution, and treatment in Vatuvonu. We will also conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the condition and effectiveness of the BSFs that have been installed in the three villages to ensure their sustainable adoption by the village residents and assess the need for additional BSFs. The team will also conduct surveys with the water committee and village residents on hygiene practices and wastewater treatment to evaluate the need for drainage or structure improvements.
Communities We Work with
The three villages of Vunikura, Loa and Buca, are located around Buca Bay in a remote area of Vanua Levu Island in Fiji.
Community members are closely engaged and actively involved at every stage of our project cycle. During the year leading up to each implementation trip, our team works with the village headman and the village water committees create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to agree upon priorities for each village for that year, as well as a division of labor and resources. During construction and implementation the team relies heavily on involvement and participation from the villagers to ensure both knowledge transfer and local ownership of the project.
After construction, the village is responsible for the continued maintenance of the project. The team provides training, along with spare components, to empower village residents to maintain pipelines and BSFs themselves.
Finally, the team coordinates closely with the villages' water committee at the conclusion of each implementation trip to identify additional concerns and initiate the discussion of priorities for continued improvements to the water supply system.
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