Water relief for Penrhyn

Monday 2 July 2018 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Outer Islands


The government is transporting 100,000 litres of water to Tongareva (Penrhyn) to provide relief to residents facing water issues on the northern group island.

An island resident told CI News that they have been facing water shortages for about a month now.

The person, who did not wish to be identified, said they had been salvaging water and using it sparingly, but feared the island would soon run completely dry.

CINews directed questions to the Office of the Prime Minister, where chief of staff Bredina Drollet said the government was aware of the water issues.

She said the government was responding by transporting 100,000 litres of water on the Cook Islands General Transport barge Mayar Las, which is due to leave Rarotonga later today. The journey to Penrhyn will take three to five days.

The cost of this exercise is still unknown but it is understood the procurement of water and

transportation could cost the government between $60,000 and $70,000.

“The Pa Enua Governance Division of the Office of the Prime Minister undertakes ongoing monitoring of water levels in the Pa Enua. Household tanks on Penrhyn are currently around 50 per cent,” Drollet told the newspaper after discussions with the Finance minister Mark Brown and the Pa Enua Governance Division of the OPM.

“The additional water will ensure that levels do not get dangerously low.”

Drollet said seven community tanks on the island of Penrhyn would also be repaired in October this year as part of a water security project targeting the northern group. The project is funded by the Germany development agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, or GIZ.

Tongareva is the most northerly of the Cook Islands, with a population of just 130 people.