27 Oct 2011

Tokelau official says atolls need to be better prepared for future droughts

7:35 am on 27 October 2011

The Apia-based administrator for the Tokelau government says the three atolls know they need to be better prepared for future droughts.

Joe Suveinakama's comment comes as Tokelau lifted a state of emergency after its first substantial rainfall in almost six months.

The prolonged drought came to a head in the last month with critical water shortages across Tokelau's three atolls.

New Zealand assistance saw three desalination plants sent to Tokelau, easing immediate concerns.

But Mr Suveinakama says Tokelau is still vulnerable to water shortage.

"But this water situation will become part and parcel of our development. We have to be smarter about how we deal with it. We envisage there will be a time when water will be short but we believe this new strategy we have, and in terms of the equipment we have to address the water situation, we'll be able to better manage it this time."

Joe Suveinakama.