16 May 2013

Women in Marshall Islands unite to help drought-stricken north

3:20 pm on 16 May 2013

A women's group in the Marshall Islands capital is organising activities to help women on northern outer islands and atolls, affected by the severe drought.

With no significant rain for up to eight months, a state of disaster is now in place.

A spokesperson for the group, Women United Together Marshall Islands, Katie Relang, says they want to also help women who can no longer make unique handicrafts to sell.

"Mejit atoll island is known for its mats. And then you have Utirik, who have those really unique white shell and weaving those in with coconut fronds. And some islands have different handicrafts that they are known to create really well, and a lot of the mats are produced using pandanus leaves, and from some of these pictures I'm seeing, these pandanus are turning brown."

Katie Relang says a fundraising concert is now planned in Majuro next month, and in the meantime other women in the network are organising their own care packages to send.