Clean, running water is now available to more people in Fiji following the installation of new facilities in the farming village of Nalele.
The new showers, laundry sinks and pit toilets were installed as part of the Coffey-managed Australian Government Fiji Community Development Program.
Nalele is a small subsistence farming village in Fiji, where residents used to wait in line every day for a bucket of clean water to drink, prepare food and clean their family.
Salote Maramalevu, a mother of six, says she has spent the last 30 years “scrambling in the dark” to access the shared village water.
“It used to be a disaster in the morning as all the families used to rush to collect water for bathing, cooking and other chores,” Salote said.
Her family now has their own running tap water as a result of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program implemented by Habitat for Humanity Fiji and funded by the Australian Government’s Fiji Community Development Program.
The WASH facilities for Nalele consist of four showers, laundry sinks and six pit toilets and are built to Fiji building codes to enable them to withstand category-four cyclones.
In addition to improving hygiene and sanitation, the WASH units were identified as an urgent need in the village because the one open communal bathroom prevented privacy for women and girls.
Luisa Vula, a resident in the village, said the biggest problem for the women of Nalele had been the open showers.
“Women and girls used to have showers with a sulu (sarong) on or wait for it to get dark,” Luisa said.
“The men just used to shower with their shorts on. It was our major concern as we did not have any privacy, now they feel safe and secure.”