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SIGATOKA, Fiji: The plaque simply states Safe drinking water for Sigatoka Methodist Primary School. After years of suffering interruptions to classes and healthy conditions because of sudden cuts to water supply, around 850 students in the salad bowl region of Fiji are beaming.

This comes after the 92-year-old founder of the Tappoo Charity Foundation, Tappoo Kanji, decided to make their plight his own.

The patriarch of the Tappoo Group of Companies spent much of his young life cycling up and down the Sigatoka valley, peddling his silverware to farmers and their families. And he attributes much of his success to the area in which he started off his commercial dreams and where his young children were educated.

So when the head teacher of Sigatoka Methodist Primary School Sovita Nagatagata approached Kanji over the plight of students facing continuous water cuts, the eldest Tappoo was quick to step in to help.

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Kanji Tappoo at the opening of the new watertank at Sigatoka Methodist Primary School

Kanji felt a deep affinity with the school where the Tappoo family’s relationship goes back four generations. When the school put in a request for water assistance, he readily agreed, saying it would be a worthy cause towards children’s education.

Students and teachers of Sigatoka Methodist Primary School are very thankful to the Tappoo Charity Foundation for donating and installing a

water reservoir with the capacity of 10,000 litres in the school, Nagatagata says.

School closure, during water cuts, is now a thing of the past to the 850 students and 28 teachers at the school.

Tappoo Kanji officially opened the Tappoo Charity Foundation project earlier this month in what was a very rare public appearance. But education has always held a soft spot for the ageing founder of the Tappoo Group.

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Ninety-two-year-old Tappoo Kanji, centre, donated a 10,000 litre water tank to Sigatoka Methodist Primary School

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