Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Aging Denarau infrastructure to be upgraded

The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation in partnership with the Water Authority of Fiji and Denarau Corporation Limited is working on the upgrade of aging infrastructure on Denarau Island.

Denarau Island began as a tourism destination in the late 60s to early 70s and in 1975, construction of its first hotel, Regent of Fiji (now the Westin Resort & Spa), was completed.

A sewer pumping station was also built in the early 70s to support the then Regent Hotel and has been servicing Denarau Island for almost half a century.

Today, there are five Precincts on Denarau Island and home to nine resorts (over 2,000 rooms), 10 residential estates consisting of 395 residential lots, a Marina and Golf Course.

On average, 3,000 people pass through Denarau Island – either for work, transit or holiday.

These numbers alone do not account for future developments.

To ensure the infrastructure is able to accommodate current and future demands, in the last five months, the authorities have held a series of consultations on the upgrading of the infrastructure.

These discussions, along with a desktop study and project scoping exercise, have resulted in several priorities.

Over the next two years, WAF and DCL will be working together on the upgrade of the Westin Sewer Pump Station to accommodate the current and future developments on the Island.

In acknowledging the Denarau Island infrastructure challenges, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Viliame Gavoka, highlighted the competing priorities for rural and urban development.

He sees this as a priority area for consideration given Denarau will continue to expand in the years ahead.

“Denarau Island alone accounts for 22 percent of total visitor days – making it one of the most visited tourism areas.”

“And we expect it to grow with at least two new hotel investments currently underway, adding pressure on the existing infrastructure.”

“So, while there is a need to prioritise Fiji’s infrastructure developments, we must ensure regions that generate significant revenue for the tourism industry and the economy are also considered. This is where public and private partnership is key.”

“To uphold and continue well into the future, our major challenges need to be addressed today and we are grateful for the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and WAF.”

“With the right expertise, consultation and of course, financial support, we can ensure long-term solutions for Denarau Island to continue to provide pristine services to our guests and residents,” said DCL General Manager,  Nezbitt Hazelman.

WAF Chief Infrastructure Delivery Officer, Sourav Majumder, stated that they are proposing to deliver the project to upgrade the sewer pumping station and the sewer line to Navakai WasteWater Treatment Plant in a phased approach, beginning 2024 and look forward to working with DCL in implementing the project successfully.

The project timeline is approximately scheduled for implementation from 2024 to 2026.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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