Communities in north Tanna are suffering from water and food shortages due to a long period of dry weather.

Over 700 villagers from Louital, Laos and Lounabaiu had to travel to the coast to get water because their water sources have dried up, Daniel Ben Talap, a resident and owner of the Blue Cave Tour conveyed.

“There hasn’t been any rain for several months,” he said.

“It’s normal for the area to experience low rainfall that can last for a long time but this year is the worst.

“The low rainfall has resulted in withered crops. A lot of cattle are also dying.

“People have to go fishing so that they can sell their fish at the market and buy food and water.

“I have been transporting villagers to nearby rivers to wash their clothes and to the coast to search for water coming out from the rocks.”

Mr Talap is appealing to the government and any humanitarian organisation to assist the people in north Tanna with food and water.

According to the Climatologist from the Vanuatu Meteorologist and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Kalo Abel, the whole island of Tanna is currently experiencing what is known as meteorological drought.

“This can affect pastures and livestock. The rainfall predicted for the next coming months will be low in the southern part of the country.

“Villagers are encouraged to report issues associated with the meteorological drought such as water shortage for authorities to address them,” he added.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) said it did not receive any report about the water and food scarcity in north Tanna.

NDMO conveyed that it has received reports about water shortages only from communities in Aneityum and Efate.

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