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Villagers Rescue Fish As Pond Dries

01 October 2010

FIJI - Villagers of Draunivi, Rakiraki, made an unprecedented fish evacuation last week to save hundreds of threatened tilapia hatchlings from certain death.

The operation occurred as the village lost a vital source of food and income when prolonged heat completely dried up its only tilapia farm.

Villagers noticed that water in the freshwater fish pond began receding in July.

"We noticed the fish struggling to stay alive in the little water that was left, so we got buckets and moved the remaining fish to a nearby river to give them a chance to live," farmer Savenaca Mamasavou, told The Fiji Times.

There was only a few hundred fish left compared to the thousands that were there before the drought," Mr Mamasavou said .

He said the drought-like conditions had also impacted on their only source of drinking water, a borehole that was partially funded by Fiji Water, which operates a water bottling plant just a few kilometres from the village.

"We receive assistance for the pumping of water from the borehole from Fiji Water but because of the cost of pumping we only have access to water for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.

"During that time we have to collect enough to cater for our drinking, bathing and washing needs."

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