2 May 2013

Teams to assess drought conditions in Marshall Islands

6:17 pm on 2 May 2013

In the wake of an emergency drought declaration, the Marshall Islands National Disaster Committee has this week sent three assessment teams to remote outer islands that have reported problems from lack of rain.

Two of the teams are travelling by boat and one by plane to 14 widely dispersed islands.

Most of the islands in the country that lie north of eight degrees from the equator have received only a trace of rain since the beginning of the year.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson says the boats are delivering water, limited food, water-testing kits and reverse osmosis water-making units.

"The US government has promised another seven which apparently are enroute and there's a request in to AusAid for some additional support on more RO units."

Giff Johnson.

One of the assessment teams also includes officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's Pohnpei office, which assist with disaster relief.