4 May 2005

Northern Cook Islands group calls for assistance over water shortage

3:54 pm on 4 May 2005

A critical water shortage is facing the Northern Cook Islands group, parts of which are still trying to recover from the effects of Cyclone Percy.

Little rain has fallen during the dry season and it's difficult to collect sufficient water for the islands of Pukapuka, Nassau and Palmerston because roofs and water tanks were destroyed by the cyclone.

Joseph Marsters, the Supervisor of Palmerston's Power Supply, says they've had to ration supplies and people are being forced to use brackish water from wells.

He says the island council is hoping to get some help from the government.

"Well, they would really like to see some water tanks, some tanks for water shortage. There's about, I'd say, probably about 12 or 15 but I'm not sure how much water they hold and there's about 70 people on the island - the water tanks are not enough."

Joseph Marsters.

Meanwhile, Pukapuka is calling for a second desalination plant to be provided with the current equipment only able to supply about half the island's daily requirements.