6 Sep 2010

Fiji Met Service prepares for official drought meeting

5:42 am on 6 September 2010

The Fiji Met Service is to meet with the National Disaster Management Office today to begin discussions on whether to declare an official drought.

The manager of the Climate Services division says the severity of this year's dry season, which traditionally runs from May to October, has been compounded by the drier-than-usual wet season that preceded it.

The dry season traditionally provides a quarter of the annual rainfall but figures for August show across Fiji, only five to 53 percent of the expected rainfall's been received.

Dr Sushil Sharma says it's up to the Disaster Management Office to declare a drought.

"We basically will have to ride out this dry season, September, October and middle of November probably and then the rain will come. There certainly will be much more pain in the months to come for Fiji and some other islands. I feel we definitely in a state of drought however we're compiling all the statistics so at least they can understand it's really happening."

Dr Sushil Sharma says Fiji really needs to be able to store more water.