Tuvalu King Tide – Thurs 17 Feb 2011

Food & climate change article written on the 17 Feb 2011

Photo: Rodney Dekker/OxfamAUS

As the king tide hits the small Pacific island of Tuvalu, photographer Rodney Dekker is on the ground for Oxfam to record this event. We’ll be updating you as his reports come in.

Don’t forget to ask your own questions that we’ll then put to the locals on the island.

The airport runway is used for recreation when airplanes are not landing. A fire truck positioned adjacent to the airport signals a planes approach, warning people to get off the runway. One plane arrives and departs every Tuesday and Thursday – during other times the runway is used as a recreational hub. In the late afternoon people play volleyball and train for soccer and rugby. Significant sections of the runway will be flooded when the king tide arrives.

Eileen Kavatia waters the family’s tomatoes. Her mother says that the drought, which started in October, has killed the families cabbage, cucumber and pawpaw as there was insufficient water to maintain the plants.

Lastman Lee collects water for the tomatoes that have recently been planted. They have one water tank for a family of 8 people.

Peleuila Iopo feeds his pigs. Because of the drought it’s more difficult keep the pigs alive due to water shortages.

Photos: Rodney Dekker