21 Mar 2007

Marshall Islands government responding to water shortages

9:41 am on 21 March 2007

The Marshall Islands government has responded to a worsening water shortage in the Marshalls by declaring an emergency for six islands and dispatching water-making equipment and water storage tanks to them.

They are also seeking help from the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency and other

international donors to provide assistance.

The government¹s Australian-provided patrol vessel was dispatched from Majuro over the weekend to three remote western atolls carrying tanks and a reverse osmosis water-maker

The vessel will make several trips to the atolls to keep them supplied with water.

At the start of this week, Majuro's reservoir was down to less than six million gallons of water - less than a five-day supply at current use levels

City water is currently limited to just two days per week.

Majuro received almost no rain in March, and many of the more northern and western islands have received almost no rain since the end of January.