7 Mar 2012

Flushing toilets the ruin of Tokelau's water supply

3:41 pm on 7 March 2012

The new Ulu or leader of Tokelau says flush toilets have rendered the water supply on its three atolls unusable.

Last year, New Zealand sent desalination units to Tokelau after a severe drought resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency.

Faipule Keli Hiano Kalolo says while there's been some good rainfall over the past couple of months, Tokelau still needs more water tanks before the end of the wet season in May.

"There is still groundwater but it's very sad that we hear reports that it has been polluted because of the new flush toilets and then that water is having access down to those water lenses and then it's polluting - particularly in the village where people live."

Faipule Keli Hiano Kalolo says it will be a long time before the groundwater is able to be used and in the meantime, Tokelau still needs funding to install more tanks.