11 Oct 2011

First of Tokelau de-salination plants should be operation by week's end

7:27 pm on 11 October 2011

It's hoped that the first of three de-salination units destined for drought-stricken Tokelau will be in operation on one of the atolls at the end of this week.

The general manager of the Tokelau administration office in Apia, Jo Suveinakama, says another two units are due to be sent to the atolls next week.

The machines are being delivered by ship from Samoa after being flown from New Zealand by the Air Force.

Mr Suveinakama says while the water delivered by the US Coastguard cutter, the Walnut, has solved immediate concerns, there's still a need to ration use.

"While 25 litres per person per day is what the WHO provides [for]we have gone to 10 to 15 litres person, but certainly this is not enough to address all their household needs which the people have in terms of laundry which people haven't done for quite a while now. So there are issues that we need to look at in a wider context in terms of health and environment issues, so we are keeping tabs on that."

Jo Suveinakama