New Zealand and U.S. agencies are cooperating to provide emergency water supplies to the Pacific Island nation of Tokelau, as a drought threatens fresh-water stocks, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said.
An air force C-130 Hercules carrying water containers will leave New Zealand early tomorrow for American Samoa where it will rendezvous with a U.S. Coastguard cutter, which has an on-board desalination plant, McCully said in an e-mailed statement. The coastguard vessel will then travel to Tokelau’s three main atolls, he said.
The extra supplies will, with current stocks, be sufficient in the short-term, McCully said. Tokelau, about 3,380 kilometers (2,110 miles) north of New Zealand, has a population of 1,500 people, all of whom are New Zealand citizens, he said.
New Zealand is also responding to a water shortage in Tuvalu, another Pacific island nation in the same region.
Editor: Chris Bourke