15 Mar 2007

Preparations are under way in the Marshall Islands to send water to outer islands

4:01 pm on 15 March 2007

Preparations are under way in the Marshall Islands to get water to the drought-stricken outer islands.

Six of the northern outer islands have had little or no rain since November with the country in the grip of a drought due to El Nino.

Residents in the capital, Majuro, are now receiving water only twice a week and there are plans to restrict this even further with rain not likely for another couple of months.

The administrative manager of the Majuro Water and Sewer company, Alington Robert, says when a state of emergency is declared, they will be sending two boats to the outer islands.

"We've already been setting up all these materials, starting to be loaded on these ships. It's a matter of getting the green light from upstairs. We were planning to fill up at least 10 x 1,000 gallons of catchment in one island."

Mr Robert says they have also set up the reverse osmosis water making machines on Majuro to supply drinking water for residents.