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AWA's Fijian project to support the COVID-19 recovery

Project Delivery Team (left-right, top-bottom): Marlene Hsu – Research Manager@WaterRA, Katie Trevor – International and Industry Program Manager@AWA, Mosese Nariva - Act Manager Laboratories & Water Treatment@WAF and Kirti Chandra – Technical Officer-Environment@WAF

AWA has embarked on a new project transferring leading Australian expertise on the environmental surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater to support the Government of Fiji to prepare, respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is happening with the support of the Australian Government through the Australian Water Partnership and in collaboration with its project delivery partner Water Research Australia and subject matter experts SA Water and subject matter experts SA Water.

The project will establish partnerships between Australia and Fiji, transferring SARS-CoV-2 environmental surveillance methods and operational approaches established in Australia by Water Research Australia and partners.

The transfer of these methods and operational approaches will support the Fijian Government’s efforts to monitor SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in water environments (primarily sewage and stormwater), to inform COVID-19 control strategies of the Government and add to their COVID-19 resilience planning toolbox. Partnerships between Australia and Fiji include:

  • partnering and mentoring between Australian and Fijian partner labs
  • partnering and mentoring between utilities
  • partnering and mentoring between health agencies.

Through developing cost-effective earlier warning detection systems for COVID-19 outbreaks in Fiji, the project will support the long-term strengthening of health security, systems, stability, social cohesion and economic recovery across the Indo-Pacific region.