Asylum seekers on Manus Island report that they have had five days of acute water shortages in the detention camp, and the crisis seems set to continue.
For three days after Sunday 24 February, there was no water between 10pm and 7am. On Wednesday, the water ran out twice for hours at a time and on Thursday there was no water from 10am until after 4.30pm.
The lack of water means that the toilets cannot be flushed and are reportedly in a shocking condition compromising hygiene in the camp.
Nor can people take a shower, one of the few things that give the asylum seekers any relief from the heat and humidity on the island. The water shortages are making it even more difficult for the families with children.
On Tuesday 26 February, two days into the water shortages on Manus Island, Brendan O’Connor declared that the conditions on Manus Island were “adequate”.
“Does Brendan O’Connor really believe that un-flushable toilets are adequate? Did Brendan O’Connor even know that there was a water shortage on Manus Island?” asked Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“With standards as low as this, no doubt Brendan O’Connor will announce that conditions on Nauru are also adequate.
“The government talks about ‘no advantage’ but the asylum seekers are being put at a positive disadvantage. Not only are asylum seekers’ claims not being processed, their physical and mental health is put at risk by the detention conditions on Manus Island and Nauru.
“It is time for the government to admit that Manus Island is a health hazard and bring all the asylum seekers to Australia to be processed,” said Rintoul.
Ten day’s hunger strike – Crisis continues on Nauru
Meanwhile, the crisis on Nauru continues. Nine Iranian asylum seekers in the camp have stitched their lips and the hunger strike by over 15 asylum seekers is entering its tenth day.
One of the hunger strikers is in the Nauru hospital, and another has been transferred to hospital on the Australian mainland earlier this week.
The collapse of the Nauru government has meant that any processing arrangements for asylum seekers has been pushed by weeks or even months, adding to the asylum seekers’ despair.
The daily protests at 5pm inside the Nauru camp continue.
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
Category: Press releases