28 Oct 2011

Rain eases Cook Islands water woes

5:04 pm on 28 October 2011

The Cook Islands Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning says the most drought affected islands are now in much better shape after recent rain.

The Ministry's Othaniel Tangianau says Penrhyn and Rakahanga, which at one stage were down to seven days of fresh water left, now have a good volume of water in storage and things are nearly back to normal.

Mr Tangianau says other Northern islands, Pukapuka and Manihiki, are also much better off as is Palmerston.

Meanwhile he says a project, sponsored by donor partner New Zealand, to distribute water storage tanks to outer islands is set to continue after missions to Nassau and Pukepuka last month.

"There's now a barge in the harbour, awaiting to go to Penrhyn, and drop their water tanks, and also Rakahanga. All residential properties on all these atolls will get at least one six thousand litre water tank, if not two three thousand litre water tanks. So each household will have at least about six thousand litres of storage capacity."

Othaniel Tangianau says locals still need to be careful about water use and he hopes the upcoming cyclone season will also bring some further relief.