3 Oct 2003

Fiji weather office hopes drought will break by end of October

11:05 am on 3 October 2003

The drought in Fiji is shaping up to be its worst in five years.

The Fiji weather office says rainfall is 40-percent less than normal, and was insignificant in September.

One school in the western Yasawa group of islands has closed because it no longer has a water supply, but the department of education is ferrying water to other schools to stop their closure.

Up to 30-percent of crops have been lost around the western district of Lautoka, and Suva residents are being told to conserve as much water as possible.

The director of the weather office, Rajendra Prasad, says he hopes the rainy season will come in on time in early November.

"We are hopeful that by the end of October we should see a lot of rain coming our way. The other concern has been that every time the country faces a real drought situation, before the weather settles down, we could see an extreme rainfall situation coming our way, resulting even in some flooding."