Families survive on two litres a day

Naisisili village headman Inoke Ratukula shows a borehole yet to be used by the village. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO

KARALAINI Buto’s family of four are coping with the dry weather on a daily supply of two 1.2-litre bottles of drinking water. “That is our ration for the day,” she said.

“If we don’t manage that ration wisely, we won’t have any water to drink until the next day.”

She said each family in Naisisili Village on Nacula Island survived on a 5000-litre water tank. “The water is from our turaganikoro’s water tank. It’s the only tank that contains water for people to drink.”

Naisisili Village headman Inoke Ratukula said the village was in dire need of safe drinking water.

“We have nine wells in the village, but all of them can’t be used for drinking water,” he said.

“Some officials from the Health Ministry had come to inspect them and informed us that we can’t use the water for drinking. “So now all of the water we get from the well is used for washing and for our toilets.”

He said he used his 5000 litre tank to fill two bottles of water for every family each day.

“We have another two 45,000 litre water tanks, but they’re both empty. He said a solution to their water woes lay in a nearby borehole which was found in 1993. “We had the borehole lying there and couldn’t do anything to set up pipes to draw water from it.

“It was only in July this year that officials from the Department of Mineral Resources told us we could use it.

“We waited for someone to come and help us with the pipes to fill one of our 45,000 litre water tanks, but no one came. So we sought help at Turtle Island Resort and they agreed to give us a solar pump.

“This week, we worked on clearing a path for the pipes to the borehole. “We are running out of water and this is our last resort.”

Earlier this week, the Princess Moana delivered 260,000 litres of water to the Nacula Government Station and two schools.

The ship is expected to return to the island chain with more water for affected areas.

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