16 Mar 2005

Clean water sent to Pukapuka in northern Cooks

4:30 pm on 16 March 2005

A further shipment of clean water is expected to arrive at Pupapuka in the northern Cook Islands tomorrow as the clean-up continues from cyclone Percy.

The island's secretary, James Auorora, says more than half the island's population of six hundred plus is continuing to live with neighbours because no materials have arrived for the rebuilding effort.

And, he says the school remains closed although parts of the hospital are open.

Mr Auorora says one of the major problems has been ensuring that there is sufficient drinking water because while there has been rain, the water tanks and catchment areas are polluted by sea water.

"Our rain water catchment here is not so good. Our water tanks have to be cleaned thoroughly before new water can be caught from the roofing. At the moment, we are getting a water supply and we are expecting some water supply from Samoa."

Mr Auorora says a French team of 13 soldiers has arrived at Pukapuka to assist in the clean up process, and food and water is also being shipped to Nassau, the neighbouring island badly hit by the cyclone.