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Water, Water, Eau.

The BBC TV Panorama programme broadcast last night which investigated our liking, as a nation, for bottled water was indeed fascinating. Our own use of bottled water is more inspired by the distrust we feel of privatized water companies whose tap water we have noticed more than once contained odd looking substances. We have though, for some time now been using tap water filtered by Brita filters, which hopefully removes some dodgy looking ingredients.

We would agree that there is definitely something amiss when we see bottled water being imported from Fiji. The local population is indeed suffering from a dearth of local water supply. There is something obscene in allowing a company to move in hijack, clearly with local government approval, vital water supplies denied to the local population are bottled up and exported. What is needed here is an end to this weird business as far as Fiji is concerned and finacial assistance ought to be made available to ensure that Fijians get basic fresh local water supply and that future cases of typhoid can be avoided.

We would like to see here in the UK water companies re-nationalized because it is a vital need for all citizens, we are not satisfied that the privatized companies exist for any other reason than profit and care little for the quality of tap water available to their customers.

  1. February 21, 2008 at 10:16

    Did you not find that the BBc didnt really make clear the impac that the bottling plant had had on local water supplies. there was no real analysis of what the water supply was before the factory arrived and what it was like afterwards for example. It just seemed to be infered that things would be better without the factory – without examining the how and why this would be the case.

  2. zebrambizi
    February 21, 2008 at 11:35

    Having viewed the programme again: the Fiji water company claims it supports some local villages with water and no cases of typhoid have been reported; we might suggest these are probably the villages from where its workers come from. So we can assume it does not supply the island except when a cyclone hits the island. The original supply used by the company was first found by the Fijian government with assistance from British aid funds. We can assume someone in the Fiji government got a nice little reward for allowing the company access to the supply. The minister responsible expressed some concern as to its sustainability, the company claims annual rainfall is enough for resupply.

    Some statistics: Fiji water produces 600,000 bottle a day for export, represents 20% of Fijian exports; the company employs 400 people.

    It looks as if ordinary villages rely on water from streams/rivers hence the occurrence of hundreds of cases of typhoid a year others probably have wells.

    I don’t think Tom Heap, the journalist, implied that without the factory things would improve nor the local women’s activist, probably it would be better if the factory stayed and assisted to improve water supply for the islanders and export that water which is not required. After all 400 people are employed and we assume the government enjoys some revenue which clearly it ought to be using to improve water supply.

    I think we can forgive Tom Heap’s carbon footprint as he was engaged in investigative journalism.

    It is said London water is recycled at least 6 times, something its supporters forget and may explain its poor taste.

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