The Fiji National University (FNU) held several events at its Colleges to commemorate World Water Day, highlighting the importance of having clean and safe drinking water.
Students from the College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST) organised an event at Nabua Campus on Friday which was attended by invited guests and lecturers.
World Water Day is held annually on the 22nd of March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Students enrolled in Bachelor of Civil Engineering made presentations and displayed equipment and apparatus used for testing water content.
Acting Head, School of Applied Science Dr Ulukalesi Tamata said water is essential for life, therefore such platforms are necessary to discuss a range of topics related to water, including access to clean drinking water.
Dr Tamata said the Sustainable Development Goal 6 also highlights on the importance to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
“We need water, plants need water, which is why the water is cycled to ensure there is enough water to keep us alive,” she said.
The theme for 2019 World Water Day is “Leaving no one behind”
“I believe the theme is appropriate. This clearly tells us that there is a gap when it comes to clean and safe water. Developed countries are far ahead in terms of accessibility to clean water and on the other hand the developing countries are really lagging behind to have that access. Some countries do not even have access to clean and safe water,” added Dr Tamata.
Senior Lecturer Civil Engineering Cyril Rachman said the need for clean and efficient supply of water is a necessity in our daily lives.
According to Rachman, fifteen students from CEST visited Nanukuloa village in Ra last year to conduct research and suggest solutions to issues relating to water supply.
“The goal was to determine how safe the water is for daily usage and analyse whether the pressure and discharge rate is enough to cater for the whole village in current usage and future demand. They were supposed to then derive a strategy via which the supply of water to the village could be more efficient,” he said.
The Senior Lecturer added that following the site analysis, students recommended the need to setup a secondary catchment near the existing catchment.
Meanwhile, students from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) School of Public Health and Primary Care (SPHPC) will distribute purification pills to selected communities in the coming weeks as their contribution towards marking WWD.
“Water is a human right and it contributes to economic productivity and social wellbeing (and) WWD invites states to create awareness on the importance of water resources,” Head of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Dr Amelia Turagabeci said.
“We have arranged to get some purification tablets to take it to this community as part of our contribution towards the WWD but the supply is not ready yet thus delaying this exercise till Week 9 or 10.” Dr Turagabeci added.
Student President, Benito Sogaveivola said organising such celebrations enhanced their knowledge on WWD.
“Water is a basic need and unfortunately not everyone has access to clean and safe drinking water as such, our aim was to raise awareness,” he said.