Pitcairn Islanders are experiencing longer, more severe periods of drought.(Click on the link below to see illustrations)
The effects can be devastating on many fronts, from crop production to water consumption or fighting fires. Highly dependent on local water resources, the 48-strong population is fighting back, with the support of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
SPC's assistance follows a 10-day scoping mission to the island by SPC water and sanitation experts and falls under a comprehensive strategy to improve food and water security for the Pitcairn population. For the next 12 months, SPC, through its Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC), will provide technical expertise and funding to support the Pitcairn Islands government to mitigate the risk of drought.
The objectives of this partnership are three-fold: (1) closely monitor the climate, the weather and water resources on the island; (2) utilise this knowledge to bolster the island's water catchment, storage, treatment and distribution capacity; and (3) enhance the island's water and meteorology governance arrangements.
This initiative falls under a larger regional project aimed at reducing disaster risk in Pacific overseas countries and territories, targeting Pitcairn Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna. The project is managed by SPC's Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) and supported by the 9th European Development fund.