0CFE69074D054EC786164AC7D52B6357
USA

WeatherBug® Your Weather Just Got Better™

Change Units: °F  | °C

Weather News

USA

6,000 Marshall Islanders Face Acute Water Shortage

May 10, 2013

By The Associated Press

MAJURO, Marshall Islands - About 6,000 people who live on the remote northern atolls of the Marshall Islands are facing an acute shortage of fresh water as a severe drought worsens.

The Pacific archipelago this week declared a state of disaster in its north. Australia announced it would provide 100,000 Australian dollars ($101,000) for the emergency supply of desalination units. The U.S. has also donated several reverse-osmosis machines, which covert salt water into fresh water.

There is no end in sight to the drought, with fine weather forecast for at least the next 10 days. The drought has also affected the food supply, withering crops such as breadfruit, bananas and taro.

Chief Secretary Casten Nemra, who chairs the national disaster committee, said many large families are surviving on as little as a gallon of water a day.

"It's an increasingly desperate situation out there," he said. "The dry season should have ended six weeks ago."

He said there have been no deaths recorded but there has been an increase in diseases like pinkeye and diarrhea. The government has deployed ships carrying food, water and medical supplies to the affected islands, he added.

The Marshall Islands is home to about 70,000 people who live on far-flung atolls and islands. The capital Majuro, home to much of the population, has not been as badly affected by the drought.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

What do you think of this story?
Click here for comments or suggestions.

Recent Stories:

News submitted by WeatherBug users

Backyard Blog

News, observations and weather commentary

Photo Gallery

View images of recent storms and seasonal weather.

User Videos

WeatherBug community news and weather videos.

Weather Groups

Discuss severe weather and regional storm activity.

Featured Cameras

Live Camera from a random camera within the United States
View live images and time-lapse video animation from local WeatherBug weather cameras.

WeatherBug Featured Content

Green Living

Green Living

You too can help save our planet and put money back in your wallet. Learn how you can take the first steps to reduce your environmental impact, including driving green, easy ways you can conserve water, and energy saving tips. To learn more and discover the benefits of going green, visit WeatherBug’s green living section. More >

Sponsored Content