A state of disaster was declared in the north. Australia announced it would provide AU$100,000 (£65,335) for emergency desalination units. The US has also donated several reverse-osmosis machines, which convert 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, hitting crops such as breadfruit, bananas and taro.
Casten Nemra, who chairs the national disaster committee, said many large families were surviving on as little as 4.5 litres 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 had been no deaths recorded but there has been an increase in diseases including conjunctivitis and diarrhoea. The government has deployed ships carrying food, water and medical supplies to the affected islands, he added.”
Read more: The Guardian