Fiji embarks on an inclusive approach for its first ever national Water and Sewerage Services Bill
Nadi, Fiji, 8 September 2022 – A week-long consultation workshop is taking place in Nadi this week to support the Ministry of Infrastructure and Meteorological Services’ efforts to engage stakeholder voices to finalize Fiji’s first ever Water and Sewerage Services Bill.
The Bill is expected to provide for the regulation, as well as management of water and sewerage services in the country. This includes the establishment of a water and sewerage information system, which is vital in tracking Fiji’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal 6 ‘clean water and sanitation for all’.
“The Fijian Government is committed and I re-iterate that every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities, as well as adequate and accessible sanitation. The State will take reasonable measures within its available resources to achieve the realisation of these rights,” said the Minister for Infrastructure and Meteorological Services and Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Hon. Jone Usamate.
The current version of the Bill has been through a consultation process, and this final workshop, organized by the Ministry’s Department of Water and Sewerage, with support from UNICEF, provides the opportunity for all key stakeholders to undertake a conclusive review. This will help identify gaps in key policy priorities and strategies as well as highlight stakeholder roles and responsibilities to ensure that these are actioned.
“The negative impacts of climate change, rising sea levels and limited resources, means a third of children in the Pacific do not have access to good sanitation and one in ten do not have access to safe drinking water,” said UNICEF Pacific’s Representative, Jonathan Veitch.
“UNICEF is proud to be working with the Fijian Ministry of Infrastructure and Meteorological Services, as well as our partners, in this process to finalize the national Bill. This will guide how systems and services will better provide Fijian children and their families to access proper, as well as safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services where and when they need it.”
While the Water and Sewerage Services Bill aims to provide the framework to ensure a good Water and Sewerage Sector, it also aims to ensure that water, sanitation and hygiene services reach even the most remote communities, and that these efforts will be sustained.
The outcomes from this workshop will provide the Ministry and all key stakeholders the opportunity to contribute and be part of shaping the national priorities and services for water, sanitation and hygiene in Fiji.
The workshop is being attended by various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Infrastructure and Meteorological Services, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Itaukei Affairs, Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Ministry of Waterways, Fiji Bureau of Statistics, Water Authority of Fiji, Solicitors General Office, Asian Development Bank, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, JICA, KOICA, and UNICEF.
Notes to Editors:
About the Fijian Ministry of Infrastructure and Meteorological Services:
The Ministry is responsible for policy formulation, planning, design, regulatory, coordination and implementation of programs, projects and services relating to infrastructural works, utilities (water and electricity), meteorology and hydrology. Similarly, responsible for policy and legislative oversight of the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) and Energy Fiji Limited (EFL). The Ministry develops infrastructure that moves people, the economy, and the nation forward. It provides services for the protection of life and property with environmental integrity.
For more information, please contact:
Mohammed Nistar Khan, Department of Water and Sewerage,Ministry of Infrastructure and Meteorological Services, email@example.com
Zubnah Khan, UNICEF Pacific, Tel: +679 9988137, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.