24 Dec 2005

New Zealand Red Cross providing water desalination for Vanuatu volcano displaced

8:13 am on 24 December 2005

A water desalination plant is on its way to Vanuatu to help locals still without clean water almost a month following the eruption of Mount Manaro.

The volcano erupted on Ambae, one of Vanuatu's outer islands on November the 27th and displaced 3,000 people.

The New Zealand Red Cross' Operations Manager, Andrew McKie, says water is of greater concern than further eruptions at the moment.

He says most of the water supply is still contaminated by ash.

Mr McKie says the local people are reluctant to drink the water in case the comtamination causes health problems.

He says the plant can produce 1500 litres of water a day, which should be enough for around 500 people.