16 May 2013

Marshalls govt drafts strategy on how to handle drought in north

7:06 am on 16 May 2013

The Marshall Islands Government is drafting a strategy for partners and outside support agencies on how to best handle a prolonged drought in the north.

The Republic has declared a state of disaster last week, with some islands not having had any significant rain in over six months, and now struggling with finding enough food and fresh water supplies and water borne illnesses.

The Chief Secretary Casten Nemra says vessels are constantly travelling between Majuro to affected islands to drop off emergency supplies, including water, food and medical supplies.

And says unfortunately, there is still no immediate rain being forecast for drought stricken areas.

"We remain very grateful and appreciative for the support we've been getting thus far. Obviously it's a drought, it's a natural phenomena. We will pray and hope the rain will come at any time. But obviously as the situation persists, we'll continue to seek partner and any other support available so we can cope with the situation at hand."

Casten Nemra says the government is grateful for the support of a UN disaster assessment team and a New Zealand Red Cross team who arrived this week.