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A cluster of Manitoba reserves struggling with a lack of running water say the federal government sent 1,000 slop pails as a solution.

The Island Lake Tribal Council said it asked Indian Affairs to help solve the water crisis on its four remote reserves.

What they got was a shipment of 800 water containers and 1,000 slop pails, said Chief David McDougall of St. Theresa Point First Nation, one of four communities situated around Island Lake, about 500 kilometres from Winnipeg and only accessible by airplane or winter ice roads.

Each of the four communities the the region also got a sewage truck, but they don't have resources or fuel to run it, McDougall said.

Ottawa is expecting 15 people in one house to share a slop pail rather than ensure the communities have running water, he said, adding that is degrading and unacceptable.

"You know, we thought they were serious about improving the situation but basically its been more of the same."

The Island Lake communities are the same one that received a shipment of body bags, along with hand sanitizers and face masks during the swine flu outbreak in 2009.