Drinking Fiji Water
There are two types of Fiji water; Fiji Water (capital W) the ubiquitous bottled goodness and Fiji water, the stuff that comes out of the nation’s taps, sometimes with shells, frogs and invisible typhoid and gastroenteritis bacteria.
Outside of the main cities of Suva and Nadi, and off the mainland resorts, it is recommended you do not drink tap water.
Water & Typhoid
The government is in the midst of a mass typhoid vaccination program after a 2009 epidemic caused by poor water supply and another outbreak in May 2010.
They’re also in the middle of a 3-year drought, which authorities are warning could cause a nationwide outbreak of Diarrhoea and Dengue Fever if it extends into November 2010.
It’s already a problem on Vanuabalavu in Fiji’s northern Lau islands. With piped sources of water dried up, the locals are relying on tank water that sometimes is contaminated. Sadly several deaths have been blamed on this outbreak.
Water, Water Everywhere.
How can a nation, which is the source of an estimated 180 million bottles of pure artesian water a year, have a drinking water problem?
The 27-kilometer long underground aquifer where the Fiji Water company fills its bottles with great quality stuff, isn’t tapped for the local population.
The Fijian government doesn’t have the infrastructure, the money (or the will) to do it. Instead many Fijians have to make do with cracked, broken and contaminated water pipes and a supply which is often polluted after heavy rains.
Is It Safe To Drink?
Officially the tap water in Nadi and Suva and in your mainland resort is safe to drink. Unofficially, any Fijian will tell you it’s an acquired taste, and not recommended for visitors. Fortunately that other Fiji water – Fiji Water – is in plentiful supply.
Outside the main cities, in rural areas and on the smaller islands the main water supply is tank water and it’s not always safe. The resorts on these islands will often do a little “extra”, take their own precautions, which is why you might notice a strong chlorine smell to the water.
In addition they’ll usually supply you with plenty of bottled water. Use it for brushing your teeth as well as drinking. If you're travelling with children, try to teach them to keep their mouths closed while in the shower or bath.
If you're sticking to the main resorts you're unlikely to be exposed to typhoid, but if you're going to rural areas you should follow these tips to avoid becoming ill.
Author: Phil Sylvester
What's Happening? UPDATE: 03/04/2012 Severe flood warnings for major water channels have been cancelled by the Fiji government, who also say that tropical Cyclone Daphne is moving away from the island nation. However, new evacuation centres have ... read more »
About World Nomads
WorldNomads.com keeps you travelling safely. Whether you’re off for a long weekend, looking for the ultimate adventure or living the nomadic dream, you’ll stay safe with Travel Insurance you can buy online, anytime, and the latest travel safety advice. Learn basic phrases in over 25 languages with our free language guides and have an experience of a lifetime on a travel scholarship. We'll also help you share your journey with a free travel blog, get answers from other nomads to all of your travel questions (try the new 'Ask A Nomad' iPad app and donate to a local community development project through our Footprints program.
WorldNomads.com - an essential part of every adventurous traveller's journey.
- Stay alert on travel safety - follow us
Is it safe for a white woman to travel to Port Harcourt? - Safety in Port Harcourt http://t.co/9ia6cEBkhe
How to survive a #tsunami
RT @SkyNewsAust: #BREAKING:Reports
waves of 2m are already striking cities on #Chile's
northern coastline following 8.2magnitude earthquake…
RT @RichardBarrow: You should never give your passport to anyone. For example, when renting a motorcycle #Thailand
RT @NBCNewsTravel: Thailand struggles with booming fake passport market http://t.co/pye8tluyoH
RT @Thailand_: Thailand Bans Smoking Publically http://t.co/0ZH5Bync7l