Category Archives: In the news

Bikenibeu West students show off their water tower in the background

PUB water reticulation site survey, complete

Press ReleaseExisting chamber in Tabaonga infront of Maere Tekanene's residence

Kiribati Adaptation Program (KAPIII) completes a survey for flow meter and air release chamber locations, an upgrade to South Tarawa Water Network. Chambers will be constructed from Tanaea to Betio to improve the PUB reticulation system to manage the water leakage problem on South Tarawa. Leakage detection and repair is one of KAPIII’s main objectives under Component 1 which is to improve water resource use and management through reduced leakage and wastage in existing systems.

Bairiki, Tarawa 25 September, 2013— KIRIBATI Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII) together with the Lands Management Division and Public Utilities Board (PUB) completed a site survey to ensure each valve meter, air release valve and other small valve meter chambers are built on their proper sites, as part of the leak reduction in the PUB water supply network in South Tarawa under which, is supported by KAPIII.

The survey took place from Tanaea to Betio identifying all locations for the valve and flow meter chambers at which points the flow can be controlled and measured, together with 13 locations for new air release valve chambers, which will help PUB detect where the leaks are coming from. The chambers would run adjacent to the road for future maintenance purposes particularly for future leak detection and will also be moved away from areas of shoreline erosion, where it is vulnerable to being broken.

“Reducing leakage in the Tarawa reticulation system is a key priority for the Government of Kiribati.” KAPIII Program Manager, Kautuna Kaitara said.

“Under KAPIII, a key objective is to reduce leakage and unaccounted water in the PUB network, and to introduce improved, practical asset management practices within PUB to maintain and operate the water network system better.” He added.

“Leak detection and rehabilitation of the system through this activity will provide support to PUB’s key outputs of supplying water to its customers based on the quantity and quality recognized standards.” Public Utilities Board (PUB), CEO,Kevin Rouatu said.

Based on a report by PUB, leakage in the system is stated to be around 67% and the quality of the water provided by the public water supply system has decreased over the past years and in 2010 more than 50% of the samples taken by MHMS showed bacteriological loading and did not meet basic WHO standards.

The survey undertaken by the team is part of the World Bank requirement under the Abbreviated Resettlement Action Plan Policy (ARAP), also the World Bank’s safeguard policy. The team also followed guidelines from the Kiribati Government under the Land Acquisition Resettlement Action Framework (LARAF) ensuring that the installation of these flow meters and air release valves will not impact people’s livelihoods in any way and if so, negotiations will be made with land owners.

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Suset in Kiribati. Photo by Michael obyrne

Kiribati solar PV training on the way

Suset in Kiribati. Photo by Michael obyrneSunlabob Renewable Energy, the Laos-based company specializing in renewable energy and clean water solutions throughout developing areas of the world, today (29 August 2013) announced it has been awarded a contract to provide hands-on solar PV training for local engineers and technicians in Kiribati, one of the least-developed island states in the Pacific region. The trainings – funded by the European Development Fund and managed by the Government of the Republic of Kiribati – will include Sunlabob experts providing instruction for on- and off-grid solar PV installation, operation and maintenance techniques, Eco Business reports.

The project comes on the heels of Sunlabob winning a contract in Kiribati in early 2013 to supply solar PV and related equipment for a variety of decentralized solar energy installations, including more than two-thousand solar home systems, hundreds of small businesses, community centers and schools, as well as village mini-grids.

“Providing local training is directly in line with Sunlabob’s tradition: to ensure self-sustaining, long-lasting renewable energy access by equipping local individual with the right skills,” said Andy Schroeter, co-founder and CEO, Sunlabob. “We’re pleased to be able to not only supply the solar PV materials to Kiribati’s electrification initiative, but to also provide the necessary human knowledge and training.”

The training, to be led by Sunlabob head engineer Antony Watkins, will consist of two parts. The first training will familiarize local engineers with grid-connected solar PV systems, resulting in the installation and commissioning of a 10 kWp grid-connected system at the Kiribati Solar Energy Company (KSEC) headquarters.

The second training will focus on off-grid solar-diesel hybrid systems, which will facilitate the implementation of hybrid solar systems at schools, small business and community centers throughout the islands. Both phases of training will comprise workshops that include theoretical knowledge-building and also hands-on practical technical instruction.

Read the full story on Eco-Business.com
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Related story: New solar Project for South Tarawa
Find out more about the 2013 Pacific Energy Summit

Residents stand by the site of their former village, Tebunginako, now inundated by the sea.  Photo: Justin McManus, The Age.

Global Climate efforts to be renewed at Pacific Summit

Residents stand by the site of their former village, Tebunginako, now inundated by the sea.  Photo: Justin McManus, The Age.

Residents stand by the site of their former village, Tebunginako, now inundated by the sea. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age.

Some of the world’s smallest nations will use a Pacific summit this week to push the globe’s biggest polluters to finally act on climate change, an issue that threatens their very existence, Zee News reports.

Host nation the Marshall Islands wants the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), which opens in the capital Majuro on Tuesday, to kickstart stalled international efforts to tackle global warming and rising seas.

“We want this to be the Pacific Islands Forum where the region says ‘enough’s enough’,” said Marshall Islands Minister Assisting the President Tony deBrum.

“The Pacific Rim is the source of more than 60 per cent of the world’s emissions and rising, so this is the key battlefield in the war against climate change. It’s time for us to unleash a new wave of climate leadership.”

The 15-nation PIF consists mainly of small island states, along with resource-rich Papua New Guinea and regional powers Australia and New Zealand.

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From_mgrs_house_nuts_pastures_river

Government land purchase within grasp

From_mgrs_house_nuts_pastures_river

Land in Fiji to be purchased by Kiribati, Natoavatu Estate

Press Release, Bairiki, Tarawa 23 August, 2013

Kiribati Government plan to purchase a piece of land in Vanua Levu has got the nod from the Fiji Islands Government, bringing Kiribati closer to its wish purchase land in Fiji.

Under Fiji’s law all land purchase has to be consented first by the Fiji Government. “We’ve got the Government’s consent when Fiji’s Lands and Mineral Resources Minister signed our application for consent to a dealing, as required under Section 6 & 7 Land Sales Act, Cap 137 of Fiji’s law, last month (July)” a statement from the Office of Te Beretitenti said.

“There are conditions of course such as the transfer of property be complete within 3 months, funds for this purchase be brought from an offshore account, clearance from the Commissioner from the Inland Revenue and Governor, Reserve Bank of Fiji be sought and that approval is also sought from the Fiji Trade & Investment Board if this property will involve with commercial or business activity,” the statement said.

The consent means Kiribati’s plan to purchase this land known as Natoavatu Estate from owners and trustees, the Church of England is about to roll out.

According to the Office of Te Beretitenti, Government negotiations over the land began about 2 years ago, in 2011 Government finally identified Natoavatu as an ideal land to buy followed by Parliament’s approval of 9.3 million Australian dollars in 2012 for the purchase.

Natoavatu Estate is being looked after by a Manager employed by Trustees of the Church of England and there are no settlements whatsoever except for lengths and depth of lush forestry.

Natoavatu Estate is measured 5,451 acres or fifteen times bigger than Betio, the commercial heart and most populated area of Kiribati.

This sea wall is all that protects these homes in the village of Abarao on the island of Tarawa. Copyright: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

Social Dimension of Climate Change

The Minister for Environment, Lands & Agricultural Development and Chairman to Parliamentary Climate Change Committee, Hon. Tiarite Tioti Kwong launched the Kiribati Documentary on Social Dimension of Climate Change on Friday 02 August 2013 at Parliament club, Ambo.

The documentary supported by the EU Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Island States (GCCA: PSIS) Global Climate project, shows the impacts of climate change on the densely populated island of South Tarawa, Kiribati’s capital.

“Variability is threatening our existence as a nation and people, but Climate Change is now deriving us from the basic necessities of life, water, food, health and our ecosystem,” he said.

“To meet this challenge, all stakeholders within country and externally need to work as one. Mainstreaming climate change into national priorities to be able to come up with focused solutions to work against Climate Change — whether through adaptation investments, technical assistance or public awareness is therefore an urgent call.” Hon Tiarite Tiooti Kwong stated.

Watch the full video below.

Also read…
WHO links climate change and disease increase
Climate Change and Health
Climate Change and People

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His Excellency Anote Tong

Sustainable development and climate change, inseparable

His Excellency Anote Tong

His Excellency Anote Tong

Kiribati’s President Anote Tong believes the future we want must acknowledge and address the special needs of those at the extreme end of the vulnerable scale, the Islands Business reports

While addressing the delegates attending the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) inaugural meeting, President Tong said the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati are grappling with the challenges of climate change.

“For countries on the frontline of the climate change challenge, sustainable development and climate change are inseparable. Our uncertain future is a clear and loud statement on the urgent need for resolving the debate on sustainable development –of what we as part of the global community have failed to.

Read more about the change in climate in Kiribati

“The modern concept of green or blue growth emerged from the environmental devastation caused by the industrial revolution and the stark realization that our planet’s life support systems are on the brink of collapse.

“As leaders it is our duty to provide solutions and options to guarantee our people’s survival and future. But we must also be realistic to acknowledge our limited capacity to do this our own. This is why I always argued for the international allocation adaptation resources to be based on the urgency and degree of vulnerability of a country or a region. I believe that our region and others sharing the same fate should have priority in the allocation of international adaptation resources,” President Tong explained.

Read the full article on Islands Business
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Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project ground breaking in Eita

Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project underway

Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project ground breaking in Eita

Local dancers beside the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project signboard outside Eita Maneaba during the ground breaking ceremony. Picture Aretitea Teeta/AusAID

The ground breaking ceremony for the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project (KRRP) was a success on Friday 26 July 2013 at Eita village, a historic site on Kiribati’s capital, South Tarawa.

“This is an important milestone of achievement, a green light for the go ahead of the actual construction of the road in the upcoming days” said Hon. Kirabuke Teiaua, Minister for Public Works and Utilities in his speech.

The KRRP is a $48.2 million project – funded by AusAID, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank in partnership with the Government of Kiribati – to reconstruct 35 kilometers of road for the 60,000 people living on South Tarawa.

The Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project  will provide more than 40 per cent of the population with better access to health clinics, schools and markets as well as assist the Government and the people of Kiribati in many ways such as:

  • A significant reduction in road maintenance costs
  • Improvement in health (less noise and dust) and road safety (wider pavement with more bus passing bays)
  • A reduction in travel times
  • Reduced wear and tear on vehicles

Rehabilitation of the road will start when the materials arrive in October and will take about 690 days to complete.

The Kiribati Adaptation Program Phase III (KAPIII) working on freshwater supply and coastal protection has on the other hand identified 8 locations on South Tarawa that is threatening public assets which includes inter alia the road in terms of coastal erosion. Tonkin and Taylor, contracted by the Government of Kiribati will review the designs for coastal protection works on the eight (8) sites identified.

“The arrangements agreed are such that KAPIII will work with the KRRP contractor to build coastal protection works on the eight sites distributed as follows – that works on 6 sites will be implemented by KRRP contractor McConnell Dowell with funds provided by KAPIII while works on the other 2 sites will be contracted out to local contractors.  Construction supervision for the former will be provided by an engineering contractor Roughton Int’l while the latter will be supervised by MPWU through the services of KAPIII Senior Civil Engineer.” KAPIII Program Manager, Kautuna Kaitara said.

Related News…
No potholes in road contract signing
Australia to give $15 million for road

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Tekimau Otiawa inspects the mangroves in Bonriki, a nursery for Mangroves

Mangroves for coastal protection

Tekimau Otiawa inspects the mangroves in Bonriki, a nursery for Mangroves

Tekimau Otiawa inspects the mangroves in Bonriki, a nursery for Mangroves

Press Release, Bairiki, Tarawa 25 July, 2013

The Environment and Conservation Division and the Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III to Increase Coastal Resilience are once again working together, this time to benefit communities in Nonouti, Tabiteuea South, Tabiteuea North and Beru. The joint project has already visited Marakei, Abaiang and Abemama to
promote and undertake mangrove planting as both a mitigation and adaptation option for coastline protection and marine resource enhancement.

Communities on Marakei, Abaiang and Abemama are now working together with Government to plant mangroves and protect their own coastlines from erosion as a result of education and awareness on mangrove importance and planting carried out by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD), Environment and Conservation Division (ECD) and the Kiribati Adaptation Program- Phase III (KAPIII).

The$150,000, four-year mangrove project is funded by KAPIII while the implementation is undertaken by ECD. The project commenced in early 2013 and will end in 2016.

The KAPIII project continues and expands on the highly successful work on mangroves to prevent further coastal erosion in local communities under KAPII in 2010. The initial stage under KAPII worked with communities to plant mangroves in Makin, Butaritari, Maiana, Aranuka, North Tarawa and South Tarawa.

 “The project is a very worthwhile project as it is a source of defense against coastal erosion and we are very fortunate to have ECD as the implementers of this project because they have a lot of passion and with their passion the project has been carried out successfully in the outer islands,” Mr. Kaitara said.

“The ECD’s role is very important and involves communicating with the community to get their commitment in mangrove planting as a ‘soft’ option source for coastal protection,” KAPIII Program Manager Kautuna Kaitara said.

 “The project has been effective on the outer islands because communities have that commitment for the project, which in turn has led to the successfulness and sustainability of the project in the outer islands,” he said. 

ECD Project Coordinator for Invasive Alien Species Tekimau Otiawa said the ECD emphasised to communities the importance of working together to protect their coastlines. For example, communities were encouraged to have a mangrove day to learn about and plant mangroves together as a team, she said.

“We also emphasise to schools in the outer islands to include in their activities the importance of mangroves and to have field trips to mangrove areas. To practice and understand the importance of mangrove planting at an early age is very crucial,” Ms Otiawa said.

Mr Kaitara added an informed decision has to be made with respect to the application of ‘soft’ options such as mangrove planting or ‘hard’ option like seawalls to deter coastal erosion. He explained that using the soft or hard options really depend on the outcome of the assessment of the area affected.  It is common to see in our situation the application of ‘soft’ option on the lagoon side of the island and ‘hard’ option on the ocean side of the island however, there are cases that both options can be applied in the lagoon or on the ocean side of the island.

About KAPIII:

The Kiribati Adaptation Program began its third phase (KAPIII) in mid-2012. KAPIII aims to improve the resilience of Kiribati to the impacts of climate change on freshwater supply and coastal infrastructure. KAPIII’s motto is Fresh water supply. Coastal protection. Our Future.

One of KAPIII’s key components is to increase coastal resilience by using soft options such as mangrove planting or hard options such as seawalls to reduce coastal erosion and protect native habitats, which are home to important sea life such as the sea life we feed our families.

There are 4 types of Mangroves in Kiribati, namely Te Nikabubuti (White mangrove), Te Aitoa (Black mangrove), Te Tongo Buangi (Oriental mangrove) and Te Tongo (Red mangrove).

KAP III  has a total cost of US$10.8million and will be financed through grants via the World Bank from Government of Australia; the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF); Japan Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD); Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR); and in-kind contribution from the Government of Kiribati.

Local IKiribati women. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

WHO links climate change and disease increase

Local IKiribati women. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

Local IKiribati women. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirms there is a clear correlation between climate change and increases in diseases in the Pacific. For the Pacific, WHO identified malaria, dengue fever, diarrhea, typhoid and leptospirosis are among the important climate-sensitive diseases, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) reports.

Dr Rokho Kim, WHO’s Environmental Health Specialist based in Fiji said evidence suggests that certain weather conditions are related to an increase in certain diseases.

“We have found that after a heavy drought in a country, there is an increase in cases of diarrhea. In a situation like that, we advice the Ministry of Health to prepare for possible increases in diarrhea cases. It is important to strengthen notifiable diseases surveillance programme which includes training of doctors to report to the government and respond quickly and timely to the situation.

“This early warning system is very effective. We are working with governments to establish reliable good surveillance programme and well trained doctors to diagnose climate-sensitive diseases at the early stage.

WHO estimates that 150,000 people die from climate related diseases every year.

Read the full story on Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

Read more about the potential health effects of climate change
Ciguatera poisoning
Diarrhoeal disease
Dengue fever

Children at Abaunamou Pri-School perform a climate change skit. Photo: KAPIII

Climate change education a ‘challenge’

Children at Abaunamou Pri-School perform a climate change skit. Photo: KAPIII

Children at Abaunamou Pri-School perform a climate change skit. Photo: KAPIII

The Kiribati education ministry says there are many problems obstructing climate change and disaster education, Radio New Zealand International reports.

A curriculum development officer Teeta Kabiriera says there are no experts to work with curriculum writers so that resources can be developed on climate change information.

He also says teachers are lacking and aren’t equipped to teach these topics.

Mr Kabiriera says there is a development plan but the curriculum at the teachers college should be improved.

He told the joint climate change and disaster risk meeting in Fiji that the teachers college focuses only on numeracy and literacy.

Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International.
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Related stories:

The Children Take Action: Kiribati book on climate change
Children as agents of change