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NZ responds to Tuvalu fresh water emergency

Published: 8:05PM Monday October 03, 2011 Source: ONE News

  • A New Zealand Defence Force Hercules
    A New Zealand Defence Force Hercules

A New Zealand team has been sent to help Tuvalu as it struggles with a water crisis.

A New Zealand Defence Force Hercules arrived in Tuvalu today to deliver New Zealand Red Cross supplies and personnel to address severe water shortages, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced.

"Tuvalu has declared a state of emergency relating to water shortages in the capital, Funafuti, and a number of outer islands," McCully said.

McCully plus Foreign Affairs Ministry staff and Wellington-based High Commissioner Gareth Smith were on board and will remain in Tuvalu to help assess needs on the ground.

"New Zealand will be working with partners and other donors to consider the best medium-to-long-term response options."

He said the Defence Force brought in supplies which included two desalination units as well as water containers.

The Pacific Island nation has a population of less than 11,000.