October 17, 2012

WAF begins waiving of outstanding water bills

Publish date/time: 17/10/2012 [13:16]

Thousands of households, businesses, schools and religious institutions who were facing difficulties in settling their water bill arrears will no longer have to pay these arrears as the Water Authority of Fiji has started to waive them from today.

The government has approved the waiving of $13.4 million in water bill arrears and today four bills were waived by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and he visited the three households and Ballantine Memorial School.

A family of seven in Nawanawa, Nadera, who had $1,052 in arrears, was not able to hold their tears when the Prime Minister visited their home to tell them that they will not have to pay the arrears.

Karma Wati said they were paying their bills, however, it kept accumulating, adding that the waiver has lifted a lot of burden as their only bread winner is her disabled son who does odd jobs to look after the family. 

Their other source of income is the assistance provided by the Social Welfare Ministry.

Meanwhile, Commodore Bainimarama said many of these customers could not afford to pay their outstanding bills because they were so high.

Certain criteria are being used to assess the bill waiver which includes leakages on customers plumbing works, long period of underestimated usage, first reading for usage accumulated over the years and arrears for schools and religious organizations that have accumulated arrears prior to 2010 before the Water Authority of Fiji.

According to Water Authority of Fiji, customers will have to make an application for a waiver which will be assessed on a case to case basis.

Story by: Praneeta Prakash

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