In June 2015 International Service Director Joe Cauchi and Youth Service Director John Pillay visited Fiji to look for suitable projects - two possibilities were found:-
  • Varavu Settlement – Ba, Fiji
This is a village of 75 people (Sugar Farmers and their families who were displaced from their farms when the 99 years leases were not renewed by the Fijian Land Owners) the village had a bore drilled and a 3.5hp pump provided by Yaadein Vision and while the villagers had access to clean water it was not piped to or near the homes in the village. Our involvement would be to purchase the piping (elbow joints, taps etc.) and the villagers will install assisted by Members of our Club. The electrical and plumbing supplies to be purchased in Australia and shipped to Fiji because the quality is better than what is available locally...
  • Sigatoka Village, Fiji
This project is different in that a bore is yet to be drilled, the local people are confident that there is water is the area, the cost of this is being met by the people of the village. If the well is successful we would provide the piping and hardware needed to take the water to the homes.
Progress to date.
The first part of the Project was to connect water from a new bore sunk by Yaadein Vision, to 23 houses in the Village of Varabuba,  just outside Ba. The villagers are former cane growers who had been evicted from  land which their families had farmed for generations by the land owners when the 99 year leases expired (This is now a common practice in Fiji and because of it the country has gone from being an exporter of sugar to an importer).  The village had been decimated by the recent cyclone with villagers still living in the tents. Yaadein Vision (an Australian Based Charity) sunk the bore and provided the pump.
We worked closely with Ajay Kumar (a local school principal) - the pump was installed on his property. John Pillay did all the plumbing and electrical work. Prior to this they had no fresh water and had to walk 4 kilometres to a river and carry water back, by the bucket or wheelbarrow. They also had to bathe in the river and women had been harassed. The Lions Club of Ba lent a 5000 litre tank which is connected to the bore and from there we piped the water to the individual home sites. The villagers now have running water available for cooking and bathing. John who with locals did most of the work felt that a bigger storage tank would better service the village, the club has now provided a new 10,000 litre tank with the original tank being returned to the Lions Club.
Ajay (Ajikeman) Kumar visited our Club shortly after completion of the Project and spoke to members stating that "The villagers now have water facilities to wash and drink in their village that had been devastated by the cylone that hit Fiji. Prior to this installation the villagers had to carry water approximately 5-6 kms from the river to their village.Most of villagers are labourers who are very happy to have clean water after we installed the pipeline to every household." He was very pleased to see the project happen and thanked to John Pillay, Joe Cauchi and our Club for doing a marvellous job of helping in this project.
President Rinna Ly presented some books donated by Governor Phillip King Primary School to Ajay who is School Principal at Sigatoka Primary School in Fiji
The second stage of a similar project near Sigatoka is stalled waiting for the bore to be sunk, we have advised that we will only proceed if it is on public land and not on land controlled by the local mosque as proposed.