4 Apr 2013

Water crisis in northern Marshall Islands

10:51 am on 4 April 2013

The residents of the northern Marshall Islands have been facing drought conditions since the end of last year, and the Mayor of Wotje Atoll is now appealing to the national government for help.

Ninwoj Lakjohn has called on the government for immediate help, saying the fresh water shortage must be dealt with right away.

He says it has not rained much since January.

Over the past few months, United States-donated reverse osmosis water-making units have been distributed by the government to seven remote islands, but Wotje was one of the atolls that missed out.

The mayor, who is in Majuro, says he received a call from his deputy on Wotje telling him the majority of household rain water catchments are now nearly empty.

Mr Lakjohn says there's no doubt that with no water available, we will be dealing with thirst and hunger.

All of the low-lying islands in the Marshalls depend on rain to provide drinking water.