13 Oct 2011

NZ flies aid to drought-hit Tuvalu

10:34 pm on 13 October 2011

The New Zealand Defence Force has delivered fresh supplies to drought-stricken Tuvalu.

The Pacific island nation declared a state of emergency in September and officials are expecting it to stay dry until January.

Water storage containers and spare parts for desalination units were delivered to the main island on Thursday morning.

A desalination unit delivered on Monday was able to replenish hospital water supplies which had run out on Wednesday.

Families have been rationed to 40 litres of water a day for each household and in some cases, up to 20 people are living in one house.

Officials in Tuvalu have requested further international assistance so another two desalination units can be purchased.

The New Zealand Red Cross will also deliver two desalination units to another atoll, and reservoirs being repaired by Defence Force engineers will be replenished.