26 Sep 2002

Fiji looks to Asian Development bank for help with water supply

10:40 am on 26 September 2002

Fiji's Director of Water and Sewerage says discussions with the Asian Development bank to finance an upgrading of the country's water supply system are progressing well.

Ram Shandil says the ADB has sent out a mission to study what is needed and is keen to help.

He says it will cost at least 37.5 million U.S. dollars and take five years to implement the first phase of the project to construct treatment plants, upgrade pipelines and build new storage reservoirs.

Mr Shandil says increasing demand and ageing infrastructure are causing ongoing problems in the outer islands and main centres.

"Suva/Nausori is one of the older systems and has been developed over eighty years in stages and some of the components are pretty old, which means they need replacement. Also additional infrastructure is needed to meet the ever-increasing demand."

Mr Shandil says he hopes a deal with the ADB will be finalised by the end of the year.