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Melbourne Water delivers training in Suva for RISE

29 March 2018

IWD training

This month, Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) partner, Melbourne Water delivered essential Integrated Water Management (IWM) training to the RISE team, local partners and government counterparts in Suva, Fiji.

The training, developed and facilitated by Melbourne Water, includes both theory and application of best practice in sustainable urban water management, supported by the latest research.

Melbourne Water Program Coordinator, Charlotte Beresford facilitated the training, covering the range of strategic outcomes offered by an IWM approach at neighbourhood, precinct and city scales. Ms Beresford presented Melbourne as a case study on addressing future water challenges, particularly in the face of climate change and rapid urbanisation.

“One of the keys to addressing water management challenges in a Pacific nation like Fiji is multi-functional infrastructure, requiring collaboration and diverse perspectives. Melbourne Water is excited to be working with the RISE program, as we strongly believe that integrating water sensitive urban design with existing infrastructure will provide a range of benefits to the environment, community health and well-being, and urban growth in these informal settlements,” said Ms Beresford

Twenty-five participants attended the training from key RISE partners and stakeholders, including the iTaukei Land Trust Board, the Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Environment, Live & Learn Fiji, Fiji National University, Water Authority Fiji, Lami Town Council, Nasinu Town Council, and the Department of Town and Country Planning.

In addition to a full day of training at the Suva Business Centre, participants also visited the RISE demonstration site at Tamavua-i-wai to explore proposed treatment solutions.

"The Integrated Water Management training was both informative and encouraging. It is very positive to see innovative solutions to help overcome some of the water management problems facing Fiji and the Pacific,” said Josaia Koroilavesau from the Water Authority of Fiji, a key RISE stakeholder and training participant.

“The training provided a unique opportunity for discussion across government departments, town councils, and other key stakeholders. There was overwhelming consensus that we cannot solve complex challenges unless we work together. We are excited to work collaboratively to support the RISE program implementation.”

RISE Fiji Coordinator, Isoa Vakarewa said his team learned a great deal during the training, developing a depth of understanding which will be essential to successful program implementation.

“The training was an ideal combination of theory and practice, generating significant momentum across the RISE Suva team and our partners. The group exercises were particularly effective in strengthening ties across the RISE network in Suva. Feedback from all involved was extremely positive, and participants are now empowered to share this knowledge more broadly,” said Mr Vakarewa.

Working in 12 main informal settlements and one demonstration site in Suva, RISE is trialing nature-based solutions – such as constructed wetlands and bio-filtration gardens – to reduce pollution in the environment and human contact with pollution. The program aims to deliver research-based evidence that a localised, water sensitive cities approach can deliver sustainable, cost-effective health and environmental improvements.