13 Sep 2004

Water problems persist on Cooks' Atiu island

3:16 pm on 13 September 2004

A water shortage on the outer island of Atiu in the Cook Islands is continuing to affect residents hit by drought-like conditions.

The mayor, Aneru Tautu, says a tanker is being sent out daily to cart water from the one well for the island's 500 residents.

He says cash crops such as watermelon, cabbages and tomatoes have been lost because they've had to be ploughed up due to the lack of water.

Villagers are also having to cart water to crops, although taro and other root crops are expected to survive.

Mr Tautu is calling on the new government to upgrade the island's wells and to install more water tanks.