Vanuatu Faces Severe Water Shortages, Crop Failure

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El Niño created drought conditions worsen

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 6, 2015) – Communities in Vanuatu are experiencing severe water shortages and facing the prospect of total crop failure as drought conditions worsen.

The director of the national disaster management office says many of the communities affected by the drought had just started to find their feet after the devastation of cyclone Pam in March.

Shadrack Welegtabit says his office has begun emergency water and relief supply runs to some of the worst affected provinces.

But he says predictions that drought conditions will continue into the New Year are worrying because crops are already beginning to fail and relief supplies are running low.

"We have been using what other countries have given in, in terms of responding to Pam but as the situation unfolds well into next year. We might be requesting assistance from our partners."

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