6 Oct 2011

Tokelauans keen to receive NZ/US assistance to relieve drought

9:33 am on 6 October 2011

A catholic priest who has just arrived on a drought-affected atoll in Tokelau says people are happy to hear that assistance is on the way.

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, says the water shortage in Tokelau is serious and that has prompted a combined New Zealand/United States relief effort.

Tokelau's three atolls are struggling with the impact of a drought, as is nearby Tuvalu which has also revieved assistance.

Father Oliver Aro runs a mission on the atoll of Nukunonu, and says people are conscious of using water.

"As far as I have observed, people's lives are limited with things like hygiene, using they bathroom. They are more particular, because they don't want to waste water now."

Father Oliver Aro says people are now wondering when the assistance will arrive.