14 Oct 2011

Northern Cooks request overseas aid as rains fail to come

7:57 am on 14 October 2011

A water shortage in the northern Cook Islands atoll of Penryhn is getting desperate as forecasted rain has still not arrived.

A local government official says they are scraping the bottom of their reservoirs to supply a weekly ration of 10 litres of water per person, which must be boiled before it is safe to drink.

Manata Akatapuria estimates only two to three weeks supply remains and he, along with other island officials, is asking for overseas help, as skies remain clear.

"Almost the whole of the Cook Islands is in a drought and the only means of getting water is from overseas I think, it's the only way we can get it. Hopefully we will be able to get some kind of desalination plant and do it from the sea."