18 Jul 2006

Cyclone recovery work expected to continue on Pukapuka shortly

3:42 pm on 18 July 2006

The island secretary of Pupapuka in the Cook Islands says they are expecting a ship to arrive next month with roofing materials and people to finish repairs to houses damaged by cyclones 16 months ago.

James Auorara says work on most of the houses, the school and the water tanks on the island is completed.

He says the population has decreased by about 200 since the cyclones and there arenow aabout 500 people left on the island.

Mr Auorara says some people left after their houses were destroyed but others have stayed with relatives and are still waiting to return to their homes.

"I would say most of the houses have been done but there are a few houses - roofing has not been put up, about five houses with no rooftop. And, we're waiting for the government to send over some people to complete the reconstruction work of the houses here."

Mr Auorara says they are yet to begin constructing a reservoir with pipelines and pumps to access groundwater because that project is reliant on aid funding.