Drought - Information Bulletin n° 2
This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Tuvalu Red Cross with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has determined that extended external assistance is not required, and is therefore not seeking funding or other assistance from donors at this time. The current partners of Tuvalu Red Cross in the Pacific will support as required.
Parts of the Pacific island state of Tuvalu is in danger of running out of natural drinking water. The country is entering its second week of drought-induced state of emergency.
The government declared a nation-wide state of emergency on 28 September 2011 due to critical shortage of water. The decision followed a detailed joint assessment of two of the worst-affected islands, Nukulaelae island and the capital island, Funafuti, by the Tuvalu Red Cross Society, National Disaster Management Office and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community/Applied GeoScience division (SPC/SOPAC). The state of emergency was declared after existing desalination plants broke, exacerbating an already dire situation.
The Government of Tuvalu desalination plants are producing about 38,000 litres/day (30,000 litres/day from desalination unit 1 and 8,000 litres/day from desalination unit 2).
Tuvalu depends primarily on rain water for most of its drinking water, which is collected and stored in storage tanks. Since early this year, the country has been hit by a prolonged period of dry weather attributed to the La Nina weather pattern. According to SPC, this is the third year it is happening and the past 12 months have been the second driest period in the 78 years that Funafuti has been keeping rainfall records. Over 330 people on Nukalaelae and 5,200 people on Funafuti have been severely impacted by the water shortage.