Wananavu Kadavu is a 501(c)(3) EIN=27-1533265

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We would like to thank...


Holladay Rotary of Utah USA

District 5420




 Roads Capital, LLC












Bruce & Carolyn Summerhays

 Lynn & Ann Summerhays

 Joseph Summerhays


George & Natalie Waddoups 

One Village at a time... by Serena Martineau

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Entries in SOPAC (3)


Six weeks in Fiji...

Nancy Thompson Mahler, our founder/president just returned home from a six week stay in Fiji. She spent a few days on the big island Viti Levu in Suva. Most of her time there was spent in meetings, picking up supplies and meeting with friends. Nancy and Ben Sorensen, our project manager, also attended the Rotary Club of Suva North. Rotary has been a generous supporter of our projects.

Suva North Rotary Club of Fiji

 While in Fiji, Nancy and Ben met with the Director of Immigration, Nemani Vuniwaqa, the Divisional Medical Officer, Dr. Dave Whippy and Deputy Secretary of Public Health, Dr. Josefa Koroivueta. We feel confident that Wananavu Kadavu Inc. will be working in Fiji for many years.

Project Manager Ben Sorensen and Dr. Josefa Koroivueta

Most of the time in Fiji, Nancy spent on the island of Kadavu, visiting Navuatu/Drue Villages and seeing old friends. Nancy hiked up to the Navuatu water project completed by Wananavu Kadavu last year, with Vilive CulaMojo and Epi. They walked ahead of her so they could use their machete to clear the path. Everything on the project looked good and the system was working without problems. In the beginning we wanted to do both the Navuatu and Drue Villages, but because of unforeseen road blocks, we were only able to work in the Navuatu Village. While visiting this year,  many people from both villages asked if and when we could add Drue to our existing spring/tanks. Wananavu Kadavu hopes that in the near future we will return to Drue to do this work. Until then, the community building used by both villages has a spout where everyone can get clean drinking water. The people of both Drue and Navuatu were very thankful for our efforts. It was very rewarding to receive such a warm welcome from both Drue and Navuatu.  

Navuatu Village Project

While in Navuatu/Drue there were tsunami warnings, a 4.5 earthquake and cyclone warnings. The weather may not have been sunshine all day, but it was always warm and beautiful. Nancy thought that it just added to the adventure and she knew she was among friends.  

During her stay in Kavala Bay, Nancy stayed with her son Ben, our project manager. Ben has been working in Fiji with Wananavu Kadavu since the summer of 2009. She said it was especially nice to meet with the men and women who have and will continue to work with Ben from start to finish. There are two men who work with Ben every day, Joseva Delana and Rato Cavei Saqeta. These men, along with many other men from the surrounding villages, have been instrumental in making this project at the Kavala Health Clinic possible. 

Crew Members of the Kavala Bay Project

Hiking up to the projects was very humbling. When meeting with officials in Suva, Nancy was asked if she really hiked up to each project. Her answer was "if these men can hike up with 120 lbs bags of cement on their backs, I can do it holding my camera". Many pictures were taken, lunch was a papaya shared with everyone and tears of gratitude flowed freely. It truly is a community working together. It was a joy to see the contributions and support of so many coming to fruition.

Kavala Bay Health Clinic Project

Nancy and Ben also visited several neighboring villages and resorts on Kadavu and Ono. The purpose of these visits was to give information about our projects and leave literature for any visitors wanting to be a part of this work. They visited Matana Beach Resort, Dive Kadavu; http://www.divekadavu.com/,  Matava- The Astrolabe Hideaway; http://www.matava.com/  ( while there they met travelers from their home state of Utah, USA ) and  Waisalima Beach Resort & Dive Centre; http://www.waisalima.com/.  Next, on the island of Ono, they spent time at Mai Dive- Astrolabe Reef Resort; http://www.maidive.com/blog.  All amazing resorts with delicious food, beautiful music and friendly people. The last stop was Oneta Resort; http://onetafiji.com/. While at Oneta, they meet tourists on a fishing trip from Australia who were celebrating a fortieth birthday for one. These men were  very interested in our projects and had great ideas to share. The owner, Piero Piva invited Nancy and Ben back the next day for dinner, and a farewell lovo with music and dancing with their new friends. At the end of the night they were treated to a nights stay and beautiful breakfast before heading back to Kavala Bay.  

Warm Welcome to Kadavu/One Fiji Islands

Before leaving Kavala Bay, Nancy had the opportunity to meet Rato Irinale Soqeta, father to RT Cavei and his family. RT Irinale is the Chief of the Nakasaleka District. He presented  Wananavu Kadavu with a beautiful hand carved Kava Bowl in appreciation of our work in Fiji.  Kava is a mildly intoxicating drink, the preparation of which involves elaborate ritual procedures when used in formal ceremonies where it plays an important part. The Kava is served from these bowls. Other ceremonies of farewell were given. The Navuatu Village presented our organization with a beautiful conch shell. The conch shell is customarily used as a horn by native Fijians to call people for meetings, church services and warnings. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to work in Fiji.

Project Manager Ben Sorensen, Founder Nancy Thompson Mahler, RT Sekeve and RT Irinale Soqeta

Boarding the big ship,  Suni-I-Wasa for Nancy's return to Suva was an experience to remember. Being her first ride on a large ship, she wasn't sure what to expect. Nancy says mingling with friends and passengers was a sweet goodbye. The crew of the Suni-I-Wasa were especially kind and generous which made the trip so enjoyable. They even invited Nancy on to the bridge to steer the ship. All arrived safely.

Back in Suva, Nancy and Ben were able to spend time with Dr. Russell Howorth, the Director of SOPAC and member of our advisory board. They also met with Garry Yost, Managing Director of ECO Energy Solutions. We thank you to all for your great wealth of information and support. We couldn't do it without you.   

Ben, Nancy, Seni and Advisory Board Member Russell Howorth

We have learned that natural  resources and agriculture are not a problem in Fiji, the land is rich and beautiful. Fiji is a wonderful country,  a paradise with some of the most hospitable people in the world. You will always be greeted with a warm welcome of Bula. Natural resources include timber, fish, gold, copper and hydro-power to name a few. Agriculture products include sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats and fish. Industries include tourism, sugar, clothing, copra (dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut), gold, silver, lumber and small cottage industries. 

Fiji also has the best water in the world.  We know that because it's sold around the world in handy bottles. So why is Wananavu Kadavu working in Fiji to bring clean drinking water into rural villages, clinics and schools?  Unfortunately, many people in rural areas of Fiji do not have a reliable source of clean drinking water.  The issue is water access rather than water availability, since  Fiji is an aquifer-rich country and much of its clean water supply lies underneath the surface. Fiji has numerous small islands, some of which are low in elevation. Surface water availability is a problem in some islands, which rely on groundwater. Some have been able to use rainwater catchment, others don't have the money to buy needed materials.  Many people in Fiji do not have the resources needed to bring clean water where its needed most. In many rural villages, they are often using runoff from rivers and streams resulting in many illnesses. 

Wananavu Kadavu has been working on the island of Kadavu since the summer of 2009. We are fortunate that Kadavu is mountainous, which allows us to use a gravity fed water system to bring water to needed areas.  Our projects so far are the Nuku Settlement, Navuatu Village and the soon to be completed  Kavala Health Clinic at Kavala Bay. This project will serve nearly 1/3 of Kadavu's population. We have numerous villages, schools and clinics asking us to come to their village. Working with the Fijian Government has been a great opportunity for us.  The Prime Ministers Office, Immigration, the Health Ministry and others have been great supporters of our work. Vinaka vacalevu to you all and may we have many more years working together. 

Crew of the Navuatu/Drue Village Project

We are grateful to our supporters from around the world and those who have donated to this great cause. Water is life.

We will be holding our 2nd Annual Wananavu Kadavu Golf Tournament on Monday, August 1, 2011 at the Valley View Golf Course in Layton, Utah. We'd love to have you join us for a day of golf, good food and fun. If you'd like to be a sponsor, volunteer or make a donation please contact us by phone or email. 

One village at a time, together we can...




Water Needs- Fiji Times September 16, 2010

WATER is a vital resource for the survival of mankind and other species and its scarcity is becoming a major concern for most countries in the world.

The planet's world water budget reveals that 97 per cent of water by volume is found in the oceans and is too salty for drinking, irrigation or for industry (other than coolant).

The remaining 3 per cent is fresh water.

Unfortunately, of this, 2.997 per cent is locked up in ice caps or glaciers or is buried so deep that it costs too much to extract.

This leaves us with only 0.003 per cent on which six billion human beings and millions of other organisms survive.

Environmentalists say with the increase in population, irrigation and industrialisation, shortages will intensify and water wars are likely to erupt. African countries which depend on river Nile are already experiencing tension over the river and its usage.

It is getting clearer now that the next war in the world may not be over land or oil but over water. Environmental changes is causing changes in rainfall patterns and disrupting water supplies in sometimes unpredictable ways.

About 2.4 billion people today live in "water-stressed" countries such as China, according to a 2009 report by the Pacific Institute, an Oakland, California-based nonprofit scientific research group.

Water scarcity and pollution reduce China's gross domestic product by about 2.3 per cent, according to the World Bank in a 2007 report.

China's 1.33 billion people each have 2117 cubic metres of water available per year, compared with 1614 cubic metres in India and as much as 9,943 cubic metres in the United States, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

The 1.2 billion people in India, where farmers use 80 per cent of available water, will exhaust their fresh-water supplies by 2050 at the current rate, as estimated by the World Bank.

Reports even say that since the 1970s, water scarcity intensified by prolonged drought has killed more than 24,000 people annually and created many environmental refugees.

A 1995 World Bank study says 30 countries containing 40 per cent of the world's population now experience chronic water shortages that threaten their agriculture and industry and the health of their people.

The study says that by 2025, at least three billion people in 90 countries are expected to face severe water stress and in most of these countries, the problem is not a shortage of water but the wasteful and unsustainable use of normally available supplies. Each leaky tap can cause up to 5000 litres of water wastage each year.

The amount of water going to waste through leaky taps, pipes and fire hydrants goes unnoticed or is passed off as a minor leak but little do people realise the impact it creates on other people's water needs.

Reliance on unsafe water source contributes to waterborne diseases which becomes costly on health ministry to tackle.

Diseases quickly spread when people drink contaminated water. Industrial and human waste damage stream and river water.

The World Health Organisation recommends a coliform bacteria count of 0 colonies per 100 millilitres for drinking water.

Since the average human excretes about two billion such organisms a day, we can see how easily untreated sewage can contaminate water. Poor quality water is the key cause of poor livelihood and health. Drought makes it more critical.

1997-1998 drought

The 1997-98 drought in Fiji was the most catastrophic compared to any flood or tropical cyclone experienced by Fiji. It caused a 5 per cent decrease in sugar cane crop, though from those that remained, 25 per cent were wiped out.

It caused an estimated loss of $104 million. A SOPAC report highlighted that 77 per cent of cane farmers received less income and 33 per cent received nothing during the drought and that average farm dependent family incomes dropped from $3500 to $1500 and below.

The DISMAC report on 1997-98 drought of the Western Division revealed that there were 260 cases of infantile diarrhea and 8293 cases of influenza between January and September 1998.

There was also a high risk of dengue fever transmission. Malnutrition mainly in rural areas was also prevalent.

Drought significantly affected supply and production of fresh local food. Parents couldn't afford to buy as prices of vegetables and fresh food increased. Victims depended of tinned and processed food.

This dependency is common during natural disasters. DISMAC also reported that 47 schools in the western division were affected by water supply.

These schools also recorded low attendance as parents could not afford to send children to school.

Some schools offered meals to students. The UNOCHA in its report highighted that a total of 137 schools were identified as worst hit in drought stricken areas.

Mamanuca and Yasawas also experienced water shortage as water source dried up. Bush fires damaged the forest and grassland ecosystem. Careless burning during drought prevents successful ecological succession.

The socio-economic problems continued to affect victims until situation normalised.

People need to understand the concept and mechanism of 'green development' which is regarded as one of the best ways of overcoming environmental change that is affecting the world.

Recently, many areas in Fiji have experienced water cuts and intermittent supplies.

There are two problems here; one is water stress because of the growing urban population, which has affected water pressure and water supplies to the ever growing homes especially in urban centers.

The other is poor water management, planning and governance mainly in the last decade.

These problems are aggravated by natural variability and adverse environmental conditions.

Recommendations for development

The 1997-98 hydrological drought in Fiji taught many lessons.

Recommendations were made and needs were identified on ways to overcome water scarcity.

One of the recommendations of the DISMAC was the consideration for the provision of $1.3million to implement 66 borehole projects covering 4000 households with a population of around 21,058. The other was desalination plant for Mamanuca, Yasawa and Vatulele. It will be good to know if all these projects were implemented then as it impacts on social and economic development.

Surely small islands in the Pacific are economically poor but these issues are far more important for the wellbeing of people than anything. SOPAC also identified various needs for various sectors. Among those were introducing irrigation to intensify production in some suitable areas, supply vegetable seeds on a food for labour basis, address long term food supply issues of malnutrition and anemia, re-develop education and awareness programs targeted at food security, establish databases and disaster management plans. For the education sector, it identified the need to develop adequate water supply and storage systems.

If little was done in the last eight years since 1998 then it reflects a governance issue. It requires strong willpower of the state to tackle these issues head on and not leave it to bypass us as it seemed to have been done in the past.

If past recommendations in reports were not implemented after the 1998 disaster, then it will ultimately haunt the nation later as it is doing now.

Reports hold no value if crucial recommendations are not considered.

A huge amount of money is spent on ration distribution and relief water supplies and a developing nation like Fiji cannot afford to spend big on this. No doubt, some organisations get rich as they become the sole suppliers of relief items. The nation can cut down on this cost if plans are implemented at national level to overcome natural disasters. A household database of Fiji will enable easy and quick access to the number of people affected and the amount and type of assistance required.

It will cut down on rehabilitation time. I am certain that the current government has the will power and capability to work in that direction.

* The views expressed are not of this newspaper but of Pradeep C Lal. He can be contacted via email on the address

Our next water project for the Navuatu village...

In April members of the Wananavu Kadavu Board of Directors as well as several of our friends and supports spent three and half weeks living and working with the villagers at one of our water project sites. The experience was a priceless adventure to see firsthand the hard work and dedication of our project manager, Ben Sorensen and a wonderful opportunity to meet the local people who have worked tirelessly to bring water into their villages. Their efforts and their gratitude were overwhelming and humbling.
Once you meet the people of Fiji in need of water, you know the work we are doing is important to their health and longevity. Once you live with them sharing in all aspects of their everyday life you truly appreciate what amazing people they are; who welcomed us as family into their homes and lives.
In Suva we had little time to accomplish everything on our list. Ben joined Heinz and me in Suva to meet with government officials and finish up paper work for a three-year work permit so that we can continue our efforts to bring safe drinking water to Fiji’s villages. Additionally, I went to the Rotomould warehouse to purchased two 500 liter tanks, as well as cement, wire and tools needed for the project; all thanks to your generous donations.
The purchasing the tanks, supplies, organizing shipment of the materials I did in Suva is all work that our Project Manager, Ben usually manages. Taking on these tasks was an experience to spend one day walking in his shoes; on what would be considered an easy day in Suva for Ben. It was eye opening. As some of you might know Ben is my son. The good and bad of having my son Ben as project manager is, I expect a lot out of him and I'm not always the sympathetic ear to his needs. I realized I'm expecting a lot from someone who has donated his time and skills to make these projects a job very well done. I know Ben has the great ability to make people feel at ease, no matter where we were in Suva or the Island of Kadavu it seemed everyone knew him. He has become family to the people who have housed and fed him during his time in Fiji. I am very proud of the dedication and the relationships he has established with the Fijian people on behalf of the Wananavu Kadavu ~ Water Project.
Our group also had the opportunity to spend time with Russell Howorth, who is the director of The Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), an inter-governmental, regional organization dedicated to providing services to promote sustainable development in Fiji as well as other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In his 2010 World Water Day Address, he highlighted the safe drinking water challenges in the Pacific area and Fiji. The transcript of his address is available on the SOPAC website: http://www.sopac.org/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=198 Russell also introduced me Ray Paris who is with the local Rotary in Suva and an engineer. Heinz and I had the opportunity to attend a Rotary luncheon and exchanged banners with the Rotary Club of Suva North Fiji Islands  and the Holladay Rotary in Utah, USA.
Among our friends and supporters who traveled to Fiji on this trip were Dexter Taylor, a Utah based businessman, magician and proud father of Serena Martineau our photographer, who also joined us. Before Dexter returned home he was the talk of Fiji, "The Magic Man". He entertained both the children and adults with his shows around the Drue, Navoatu and Vuniesa villages. Serena photographed Wananavu Kadavu ~ Water Project work. Serena knows how to capture the life in the faces she photographs, her photos tell a story.
The resources we have been given by very talented caring people is beyond my expectations. I want to thank you all for believing in Wananavu Kadavu~Water Project, the help you provide is immeasurable.
I can't express the gratitude I have for the people who have appeared out of nowhere to share their expertise with us. The family who took us in like they have Ben.
It takes more than a village to make a change, it takes the world.

Tanks for Novuatu Village, Kadavu Fiji Islands One village at a time, together we can...