21 Aug 2002

Lack of water in the Cook Islands forces some residents to shift

4:36 pm on 21 August 2002

Ongoing water shortages in the Cook Islands have forced some people on Rarotonga to temporarily shift to areas where it's more readily available.

The director of Waterworks, Ben Parakoti, says stream levels are very low due to a lack of rain over the last month and a lack of reservoirs compounds the problem.

He says they're also working on upgrading the pipeline and network system which is estimated to be losing between 60 to 70 percent of the water it carries.

Mr Parakoti says the government is aware of the problem.

"The government is putting some money in. This financial year, we've got 1.25 millon dollars, thats to continue the pipe line upgrading. We will complete up to 60% of the network and if there is continuous flow of money, the plan is that we complete the network within the next two years."

Mr Parakoti says more than 100 houses are affected by the shortages but schools and the hospital continue to have access to water supplies.