Refugee water shortage widespread on Manus Island

12:20 am on 15 November 2017
One of the damaged wells in the former detention centre.

One of the damaged wells in the former detention centre. Photo: supplied

Video shot by refugees on Manus Island shows a water shortage in the former detention centre and in other refugee facilities.

About 400 men have been refusing leave the centre for the alternative facilities, since the Australian-run camp was closed two weeks ago.

With their water supply cut off, the men had survived by collecting rainwater and by digging wells.

On Monday, staff from the PNG immigration department entered the centre to destroy tanks the refugees were using to store water. There was a similar raid last Friday.

Kurdish journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani said the staff also used rubbish to pollute the wells. He said refugees would dig another.

Video shot by a refugee in the former detention centre yesterday, showed PNG immigration staff laughing as they destroyed a water tank.

Water shortages were also reported by men in the alternative facilities.

Video from Hillside Haus, where 24 asylum seekers are currently detained, showed a bathroom without running water.

The asylum seeker behind the camera said water was cut to the facility for a few hours each day.

Another video filmed by refugees in the facility known as West Lorengau Haus, also showed a bathroom without water.

Since the detention centre's closure, the United Nations and Amnesty International questioned whether West Lorengau Haus was ready to accomodate refugees.

The refugees' lawyer Ben Lomai sought a court order to inspect the facility, but alleged his application had been politicised.

The PNG government claimed West Lorengau Haus was ready for human occupation, but video filmed inside the facility by one of its 20 occupants revealed major construction was still in progress.

Mr Boochani said the videos showed the conditions in the alternative facilities were worse those in the former detention centre and questioned why those holding out were being pressured to move.

Meanwhile, a refugee in the third facility known as the East Lorengau Transit Centre said he had not experienced a water shortage in the eight days he had been there.

He said there were 230 men in the Transit Centre and that they were given bottled water and also drank from the taps.

*Video in this story was distributed by advocacy group Getup!