Manihiki is a small atoll in the Northern Cook Islands, approximately 550 miles north of the capital Rarotonga. The extremely low-lying atoll has a population of 400 on the two inhabited islands. As is common with small isolated communities, water is a major concern on Manihiki, where the only source of potable water is rainwater stored in tanks. After prolonged periods of storage, this water can become contaminated and pose a health risk.
The people of Manihiki asked for Seacology’s help to buy two ultraviolet water purifying units and pump systems – one for each village – with spare parts. In exchange for this funding, Manihiki will declare 72 acres of their lagoon as a marine reserve for 30 years.