Recently, New Zealand has been in the grip of the worst drought in a hundred years.
Recently, New Zealand has been in the grip of the worst drought in a hundred years. In most areas the February rainfall was the lowest since the middle of last century, when records began. New Zealand's farmers have become increasingly worried about the drought. One of the most seriously affected areas is Wairarapa, in New Zealand's North Island. Here, livestock losses have been, so far, relatively low. But farmers don't know exactly how long they can hold out before rain comes.
The countryside of Wairarapa is almost totally dry. Rivers have vanished leaving only small pools of water for the few remaining fish to survive in. One major source of water in the area is the Featherston dairy factory which is supplied by wells. From here, decontaminated milk tankers full of water are seat to districts where domestic water supplies have failed. Other kinds of vehicle which are being used as water carriers are beer tankers. At the Featherston Primary School, children are supplied with their midday drink from a beer tanker.
SYNOPSIS: New Zealand's normally lush green plains have recently been transformed into a brown, dried-out landscape. For New Zealand is currently in the grip of the worst drought to hit the country for one hundred years. In most areas the February rainfall was recorded as the lowest since the middle of last century, when records began. So far, livestock losses have been relatively low, but New Zealand farmers are, understandably, becoming increasingly anxious about the drought.
One of the worst-hit areas is Wairarapa, in New Zealand's North Island. Here, the countryside is almost totally dry. The rivers have vanished leaving behind river beds containing only the occasional pool of life-giving water where a few fish survive.
A major source of water in the Wairarapa is the Featherston Dairy Factory which is supplied by seemingly inexhaustible wells. The dairy has been sending out water in milk tankers to farms where domestic supplies have failed.
Children attending Featherston Primary school were delighted to discover that their midday drink of water was being served from a beer tanker. For the children, the drought has brought about a refreshing change from the usual school routine.