Vanuatu WASH Cluster activated to address water shortage

The activation follows a directive from the Vanuatu Council of Ministers (COM) upon receiving reports of drought conditions and water shortage in North Efate and Aniwa.

The cluster is planning its response in these affected areas while coordinating assessment reports in other severely affected areas.

NDMO responds to adverse weather conditions in Vanuatu

The affected islands are reporting their needs via the Provincial Disaster Officers and the NDMO will take action based on these needs assessments.

South of Vanuatu at increased risk of drought - NIWA

In its latest Island Climate Update, the New Zealand science agency NIWA said much of the region could expect below normal rainfall in the coming month.

NIWA said all of New Caledonia, the south of Vanuatu, the Phoenix islands in Kiribati and the Marquesas in French Polynesia, were likely to experience stresses on water supplies.

Those groups had had little rain for the past six months, it said, and there was little forecast for the coming weeks.

Vanuatu's southern islands in drought

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported water shortages in Tafea province were being acutely felt on the islands of Tanna and Aniwa, where crops had withered and cattle had died.

In the north of Tanna, people reportedly had to travel to the coast to find water as inland sources have dried up.

Climate services manager Allan Rai, with the Vanuatu Meteorology Department, said last year's El Niño weather system had combined with the dry season to delay the arrival of expected rain.

Sydney gets toughest water restrictions in a decade

On Tuesday, level two restrictions were enacted in the capital of New South Wales (NSW), a state 99.9% in drought.

These could be increased to level three within months, local media report.

Temperatures are predicted to soar above 40C (104F) from Tuesday, worsening fires which have already killed six people since October.

There are now more than 100 fires in NSW and Queensland states, many of which have been burning for several weeks.

What are the water restrictions?

Rising heat could make parts of South Asia uninhabitable by 2100 -study

Most of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will experience temperatures close to the limits of survivability by 2100, without emissions reductions.

The research says the fraction of the population exposed to dangerous, humid heat waves may reach 30 percent.

South Asia is home to one-fifth of the world's inhabitants.

Wet bulb threat

Most official weather stations around the world measure temperature with two thermometers.

Australia gives more funding to fight Pacific drought

It gave US$6.5 million dollars last year and has just announced another US$359,000 dollars in additional support for the North Pacific.

The foreign minister Julie Bishop said the money will focus initially on the Marshall Islands where a state of emergency is in force.

Rains bring respite to drought hit Vanuatu

However, the operations manager of the National Disaster Management Office says despite receiving positive reports from some of the areas most affected by months of drought his office remains vigilant and will be monitoring the situation as the rains cease.

Peter Korisa says he feels that some communities will have benefited more than others from the short period of heavy rain.

More water for drought stricken Fiji's Western division

The provision of tanks was made possible with support from the €19.36 million (US$21.12 million) European Union Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) project which is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

These tanks will be installed in temporary roadside locations filled by the National Disaster Management Office throughout the Christmas season to ensure the most severely affected areas can access clean and safe drinking water, which is critical to human health.

Drought threat for much of the Pacific remains

The Island Climate Update, compiled by New Zealand's NIWA with other meteorological agencies and the Pacific Regional Environment Programmme, says each of those countries has experienced significantly lower than expected rain levels in the past five to six months.