Pacific nation may exhaust water supply by Tuesday
The Pacific nation of Tuvalu is made up of a string of coral atolls and has few natural resources.
October 3rd, 2011
10:57 AM ET

Pacific nation may exhaust water supply by Tuesday

The small Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has declared a state of emergency because of a shortage of rain and says it may run out of water by Tuesday.

Tataua Pefe, the secretary-general of Tuvalu’s Red Cross, said that because of the lack of rainfall, residents would likely "be finishing up their rationed water," according to an interview with Radio Australia.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully said his country was rushing to help as best it could, sending in defense force personnel to help with the crisis as well as delivering Red Cross supplies.

“Tuvalu has declared a state of emergency relating to water shortages in the capital, Funafuti, and a number of outer islands,” McCully said in a statement on the New Zealand Foreign Ministry site. “Two Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff on board, including our Wellington-based High Commissioner, will remain in Tuvalu to help assess needs on the ground."

Pefe said the situation has become dire after six or seven months without adequate or sustained rainfall.  He said that forecasts suggest that Tuvalu and other Pacific islands will not receive "decent" amounts of rain until perhaps December.

"We need emergency support," Pefe said.

Pefe said that residents should not drink well water because it may not be safe. Some animals that have been drinking well water suddenly died, he said.

Pefe said he and others were working to try to find long-term solutions to sustain the group of islands during the coming months. He said they will be relying on the help of other nations.

McCully said New Zealand will continue to work "with partners and other donors to consider the best medium-to-long-term response options.”

Tuvalu has a population of less than 11,000 and "consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil," according to the CIA's World Factbook. "The country has no known mineral resources and few exports and is almost entirely dependent upon imported food and fuel."

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. leeintulsa

    Primative people are stupid.

    Look at afghanistan. Most of them never heard of 9/11. We could have used drones, and most of them would have never heard of us.

    I'm really not any more interested in saving them than i am saving the polar bear. But if we *gotta* do something, you can move em in next door to me..

    October 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Massbytes

      leeintulsa...Anything you do care to save? How about yourself or family?

      October 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @massbytes: just what I was fishing for. My family and I will be fine.

      Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

      In the time it takes man to adapt to the future, my family will adapt. 200 years from now, a man with my blood in his system, will live and struggle, just like we do.. And I bet he'll still get these terrible headaches...

      October 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • eldono

      So, why don't they have any solar condensers? Turn that Pacific salt water into distilled water.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Be Humble

      Nicely trolled.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nur amabo nur

    Still think the hostile takeover of Libya was for oil ? Google "man made river" Libya has water for something like 38,000 years the U.K. Like 28. Don't be so naive.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • eldono

      Under the Sahara?

      October 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Eldano: Yes, there is a large aquifer of clean fresh water under the Sahara.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    The polar bears? O.o

    October 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I was trolling a little bit.. wanted to get this party started.. I don't want anyone or anything to die, but don't know that all can be saved..

      October 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Oh, for God's sake, next the theory will be because we want their *sand*!

    October 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nur amabo nur

    In America, the Bush family owns huge swaths of land over natural aquifers and has mineral rights. Sooner or later we'll all work for water.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nur amabo nur

    No more sand for you bananasy your heads in it deep enough.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    No, nur, it isn't...but thanks for turning this blog into your own personal agenda against Obama once again. Yours is only about the fifteenth theory as to why we're in Libya; add it into the mix, stir, and drink the Kool-aid. It's okay, your reason is just as valid as any other...

    October 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Nice try, but it's not leeintulsa...

    October 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      No, it is.. it's me.. The libertarian in me says you can't save everyone.. The world evolves. Hopefully, I will continue to live. Hopefully, everyone will.. But I don't think it's my job to make them.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Klaark

    Somewhere there's a Republican saying "Buh how can dey be outta watta? dey liv in da oshum, dey wa wa everwheea."

    October 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lakelover599

    They actually have desalinization plants, but they are BROKEN. I am not sure why they have not been fixed yet? It sounds like they normally get enough rain, but because of El Nino, this year they are not.

    October 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • lakelover599

      Sorry, that should have been La Nina.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. leeintulsa

    Normally, *we* get enough rain. Because of whatever, we have not. Yet we are not out of water. I guess they sell coral creations for food or something? How 'bout a real job? In a real place? Not the island paradise we've all dreamed about.. but that has limitations, doesn't it?

    October 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Why isn't your name blue anymore?

    October 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I'm on my computer

      October 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. leeintulsa

    checkin out. probably be blue next time you see me..

    October 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. s kel

    place sounds like las vegas,no water dry, desert. why the hell is vegas even existing.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. They are surrounded by Water

    October 12, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
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