4 Oct 2011

Drinking water rationed in Tuvalu

2:34 pm on 4 October 2011

The New Zealand Red Cross says drinking and cooking water is being rationed in Tuvalu to those affected by severe water shortages.

The New Zealand government has sent two desalination units and water containers to Funafuti and Nukulaelae, where there's a state of emergency because of the lack of water.

A spokesman for the Red Cross, Andrew McKie, says water from the desalination units will be rationed, describing it as a temporary solution.

"It's only really a stop-gap measure and it produces up to about three litres a minute. It will provide emergency drinking supply. It will be augmented by water that is being transported from Funafuti by the Tuvalu government. They will give a constant supply mainly for drinking water and cooking."

Andrew McKie says while authorities are looking for long term solutions, the Red Cross is helping people with preparing to harvest rainfall when it eventually comes.