It has been inspiring to witness the 'Pacific Spirit' flourishing at BSP. In the face of a water crisis with our island neighbours in Tuvalu, BSP Life and Bank staff in Suva quickly mobilised, and generously collected and donated 1,004.50 litres of water in just 24 hours. A cash donation of $784.000 from staff was also collected and deposited into the 'Tuvalu Water Drive' account.
The current situation in Tuvalu is a national emergency, with one of the basic necessities needed for survival - fresh drinking water - that many of us in Fiji take for granted, now depleted. Households are currently rationed two buckets of water daily. As most households comprise of extended families, averaging over ten people per household, the two buckets of water per day is quite a stretch.
There are reported cases of dehydration in adults, and mainly the elderly, who are sacrificing their share to ensure that their young are getting enough. The dismal situation escalated when desalination plants, sent in for support broke down and are, consequently, awaiting parts.
The BSP staff contribution was handed over to the President of the USP Students Association - Mr Poasa Veidreyaki - by Ms Sharyne Fong,BSP Executive Manager, on Friday 21st October. During the presentation, Mr Veidreyaki mentioned that they were very grateful for the huge, collective support shown by BSP, and that the water shipment bound for Tuvalu would depart the following Tuesday, 25th October, 2011.
The 'Tuvalu Water Drive' was organised in Suva by the Econesian Society together with the University of the South Pacific's Students Association, Wantok Moana, Land Management Student Association and the Geography Students Association.