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Palau President declares state of emergency

Palau President Tommy Remengesau on Tuesday declared a state of emergency after severe drought continues to affect the island nation.

“The declining water levels caused by this drought seriously threaten the availability and quality of potable water,” Executive Order No. 389 issued by the president which declares a state of emergency due to extreme drought.”

Water shortage in Palau worsens as the Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) shortened the water supply starting March 19 from 10 hours since it implemented it on March 12 to six hours last March 21 everyday in Koror and Airai States.

The water levels of the Palau reservoir is going down on a critical level due to lack of rain.PPUC said that during a short period of rains on March 16, 2016 water levels gained about 3 feet but then dropped again back to 1.5 feet  Average consumption is about 125,000 gallons per hour or 625,000 gallons every five hours.

Remengesau in his executive order said the drought is also affecting others states of Palau and that the Ministry of Health fears that the water shortage continues to cause health implications to the public through food and water-borne illnesses.

The water shortage has also affected schools and hospitals and the power system, which are dependent on water supply to function.

The president is now awaiting approval from Palau Congress. The president upon approval will have 10 days to assume power and tap into funding to address the crisis.

In an earlier statement Remengesau said Palau would into desalination system as an alternative source of water supply.


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