Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

RMI Office of the President
Majuro, Marshall Islands

Monday, April 22, 2013

Drought Leads To State Of Emergency In Marshall Islands

Severe drought conditions in the northern islands/atolls of the Republic of the Marshall Islands has prompted the Government to issue a State of Emergency. After relevant action plans were formalized, President Christopher J. Loeak signed the declaration on April 19, 2013, for the immediate mobilization of people and resources to mitigate the impact of drought in the affected islands/atolls.

The severely affected islands/atolls include Ujae, Lae, Wotho, Lib, Namo, Ailuk, Mejit, Wotje, Aur, Enewetak, Maloelap, Ebeye, and Likiep.

Official reports from affected islands/atolls indicate that household water catchments and other water storage facilities have since run out of water and that the levels of salinity in water drawn from under-ground wells has risen to unsafe levels. The situation is exacerbated by declining water production output from the reverse osmosis unit and the adverse impact of this persistent dry season on agriculture, and the supply of food. Affected communities face potential health, environment, social, and economic hardship.

The Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands continues to monitor the drought situation and is taking necessary measures to address the challenges faced by the people in the affected communities.

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