Manus Island refugees still short of water, food and power

7:39 pm on 7 December 2017

Men exiled to Papua New Guinea's Manus Island by Australia say they continue to experience food, water and electricity shortages despite being moved to three new facilitites.

123rd daily protest on Manus Island, West Haus, 3-12-17.

123rd daily protest on Manus Island, West Haus, 3-12-17. Photo: supplied

About 630 men were relocated by the PNG government after most endured three weeks without basic services in the island's decommissioned detention centre.

Kurdish asylum seeker Benham Satah said a dispute with the local waterboard had led to tankers drawing river water for about 250 men in West and Hillside Hauses.

"Because of that, the first week many people got sick. Many people got diarrhea and flu and still many people are getting sick because the water is not clean and is unhygenic'" he said.

"We haven't got bottled water in at least three or four days."

Water tanks at Hillside Haus

Water tanks at Hillside Haus Photo: Benham Satah

The Kurdish journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani said there had been no running water in the East Lorengau Transit Centre since Wednesday morning.

He said as a result, the 380 men in the transit centre were forced to go to the toilet in the jungle.

Refugees at East Lorengau waited all day yesterday for water to be delivered by tanker, according to Mr Boochani.

He said the men there also queued for hours to receive food on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a refugee in Hillside Haus has reported blackouts and an intermittent power supply on almost a daily basis since mid-November.

A tanker delivers water to refugees in the East Lorengau Transit Centre.

A tanker delivers water to refugees in the East Lorengau Transit Centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

New Report highlights refugees' poor health

The shortages reported by refugees emphasis the findings of a new report by Melbourne's Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

The report said the long term accommodation of refugees was not tenable on Manus due to the lack of food, healthcare and services to support the men.

The report, which stemmed from a visit to the island last month by advocates from the centre, estimated about 150 of the men were suffering from serious illnesses.

"It was very clear that most of the medical problems are associated with people being detained in a remote island with lack of water, a lack of access to medical care or proper hygiene and sanitation," said the centre's Jana Favero.

"Men were reporting to us that doctors had been recommending they drink 15 bottles of water a day but they were provided with three."