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RNZAF delivers more equipment as Kiribati battles drought

A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has delivered additional freight to Kiribati to assist its response to the extreme drought the country is facing.

26 August, 2022

The flight, which departed RNZAF Base Auckland on Thursday, delivered spare parts for the desalination plant, a forklift and a utility vehicle. The flight delivered a combined weight of just over eight tonnes. 

It was the second drought-related flight by the RNZAF after a Hercules delivered urgent spare parts for the desalination plant on 29 June.

The latest Hercules flight will return to New Zealand with a piece of equipment owned by the Kiribati Public Utilities Board which requires urgent repair.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules is loaded with freight destined to help Kiribati’s response to an ongoing drought

Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Shaun Sexton, said the transportation of the much-needed equipment was important for Kiribati, where the population of 120,000 is affected by the drought. 

“The Government of Kiribati declared a state of disaster in June and they have requested assistance with the transportation of this equipment.  Keeping the desalination plant running is vitally important to combat the effects of the drought, and we were happy to task a C-130 aircraft to help our friends and partners in the Pacific.”