5 Sep 2011

Kiribati advocate appeals for water tanks as wells become too salty

4:11 am on 5 September 2011

A youth leader from Kiribati is appealing to aid agencies to fund urgently needed water tanks to outer islands suffering salt water contamination in their wells.

The Climate Change Action Network's Claire Anterea is working with young people to clean up rubbish which is also polluting Kiribati's water supplies.

Her group has backing from Caritas Australia and the New Zealand Aid Programme but it's appealing for further international support to build water tanks and clean up the environment.

She says she's recently visited six outer islands in Kiribati which are only about two or three metres above sea level.

"We saw that the trees are dying. And the people said that the sea is coming under ground, not from the sea, it just come under the ground and mix with our main subsistence food which is taro. The water around the village is very salty and they can't even wash, can't even cook with it."

Claire Anterea says saving rain water is the answer to the freshwater crisis but none of the villages she visited had water tanks.