4 Oct 2011

Tuvalu relief effort picks up as Nukulaelae runs dry

3:22 pm on 4 October 2011

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Tuvalu, Gareth Smith, says little water is left on Nukulaelae, the island worst hit by the drought.

Desalination units have been flown in to supply drinking water to drought-stricken islands, such as Funafuti, after a state of emergency was declared in the face of a La Nina weather pattern.

Mr Smith says a relief effort by the Red Cross and the New Zealand government is picking up momentum.

"The main problem area is the island of Nukulaelae - it's a pretty dire situation there. There are only 60 litres of water, we are told, remaining on the island and there are 330 people on that island. That's not a lot of water."