'Hardly any rain' for Kiribati island in nearly two years says MP

A member of parliament for Arorae in Kiribati says the island has had almost no rain for two years.

The Kiribati government in June last year declared a state of disaster, after the discovery of high salinity levels in monitoring wells and very low rainfall.

RNZ Pacific reports Teima Onorio said the drought had been harsh to the island's about 1000 residents, and they needed a lot of help.

"It's been over a year, it's been almost two years, there's been scarcely any rain. The situation is quite harsh for the people. The well water, which people drink, is becoming brackish."

The drought had caused the tops of coconut trees to fall off and vegetation to die, which was affecting people's incomes, Onorio said.

"I was not able to get the Met figures for the rainfall, but I think I'm safe in saying for almost two years now, there's been hardly any rain. If it rains, it's just drizzle."

She is calling on the government to do more for the island as it deals with the drought.

Onorio said she had never seen a drought like it.

"I would very much like to see government assistance for the repair and maintenance of the desalination plant in Tamaroa (one of two villages in Arorae), because I know that water from that desalination plant has been serving the people well," she said.


Photo Twitter/OtterCapt  Caption: Severe drought conditions on Arorae.