UNICEF sends supplies to deal with drought emergency in Tuvalu
SUVA, 07 October 2011 – UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is deeply concerned at the plight of those affected by the severe water shortage in Tuvalu, especially the most vulnerable, children and women.
Early estimates from government sources put the numbers affected by the drought as 5,300 people on the capital island Funafuti.
“We are currently working very closely with the Government of Tuvalu, other UN agencies and NGOs to assess the needs of those most affected. UNICEF’s priority is to provide life saving essentials to children and their mothers as they are commonly the most vulnerable in natural and man-made disasters, as well as to ensure that children’s education is not disrupted,” said UNICEF Representative, Dr. Isiye Ndombi.
On Funafuti, water is being rationed to 25litres/per person/per day in the current distribution. The recommended daily UN consumption rate is 100 liters/per person. There is no groundwater on Funafuti and Nukulaelae Island. The outer islands are also experiencing severe water shortages.
All pre-schools on Funafuti are closed. Nauti Primary School is under close observation by the Ministry of Health and Motuofua Secondary School is operating under very strict water use until the end of Term 3 (18th November).
UNICEF will be providing a pre-positioned solar desalination unit and all necessary water connections to the tanks at Nauti Primary School.
From next week, UNICEF will ship in more humanitarian supplies to populations affected by the drought.