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Fiji Water responds to critics

Fiji Water is fighting back against Erica Schuetz’s Food & Water Watch blog post that cited a BBC program claiming that one-third of local Fijians have no access to clean drinking water (which I referenced in this week’s roundup).

Grace Kang, an associate in corporate communications at Fiji Water, sent me an e-mail yesterday saying that many of those claims were untrue.

“Reliable access to clean, safe drinking water is common throughout much of Fiji, but there are still some remote villages where infrastructure is lacking,” Kang said. “We’re currently funding projects through the Fiji Water Foundation to ensure that these communities are provided with a safe water supply.”

Among those she listed:

-    Providing water access to the villages that surround the company’s water source in the Yaqara Valley.
-    Fiji Water has partnered with the Rotary Club to fund the Pacific Water for Life Trust, which will provide the infrastructure, expertise and skills necessary to deliver sustainable water to more than 100 additional communities, schools, health centers and nursing stations throughout Fiji over the next two years.
-    Fiji Water provides thousands cases of water a year to local villages in Fiji who have been hit by cyclones or flash flooding to provide immediate access to clean, safe water.
-    She said the water Fiji bottles and ships is sourced from an isolated underground aquifer unsuitable for public use, so is unrelated to the cited problem.

“If we didn’t bottle the water the underground flow would simply run into the ocean and fewer people in Fiji would benefit from access to clean, safe water,” Kang added. “Rather than ‘exploiting the environment and people’ as Erica Schuetz claims, protecting the ecosystem of Fiji – which is our greatest resource – and supporting the local economy is very important to us. Fiji benefits from making its water available for export.”

Readers, any thoughts on this response?

For past PRWeek coverage on Fiji Water click here.

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