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Big firms involved, WAF plans court cases
By MAIKELI SERU
Some big companies in the country had allegedly been stealing water for decades to help in their operation, says the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF).
The WAF now plans to take these companies to court.
The authority’s chief executive officer, Opetaia Ravai, said some of the companies did not have water meters and some had been stealing water through bypass systems.
“In February we will start prosecuting those found to be stealing water,” Mr Ravai said.
“We have an internal team who are conducting investigations into alleged water thefts and we have found that some big companies had been involved. Some of them had been stealing water for ages and we are going to take them to court.”
Mr Ravai made the revelation during the launch of their Global Information System (GIS) by the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
Mr Ravai said the system could catch those intending to steal water and those already involved. The Fiji Sun understands that a food processing company, which is based in Suva, had been allegedly caught stealing water.
This is after investigations were done by the authority after suspicions arose over water usage, size of production and the amount billed.
The Fiji Sun understands that some of the authority’s staff are under investigation for abuse of office and misuse of funds.
“Through the use of the GIS technology, WAF will increase its productivity, respond faster to customers’ complaints, conduct hydraulic models, improve analysis of infrastructure and asset management, plan preventative maintenance programmes, better perform routine activities, make more informed decisions and improve customer analysis.”
The launch was the first phase of the authority’s $800,000 upgrade project. Fiji is the first to use the system in the South Pacific.