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Gathering freshwater from a well in Kiribati.

Rain Water Harvesting Contract for Construction signed

The objective of the Kiribati Adaptation Program Phase III (KAPIII) is to ‘Improve the resilience of Kiribati to the impacts of climate change on freshwater supply and coastal infrastructure’. One of the infrastructure projects funded under KAPIII is the construction of rainwater harvesting systems on North Tarawa.

KAPIII Water Engineer, Marella Rebgetz, explained that “in keeping with the fact that KAPIII is a climate adaptation project, rather than a water infrastructure project, the provision of rainwater in North Tarawa is primarily aimed at trying to provide a reserve water supply for drought times, rather than an additional water supply for general use. Thus rainwater systems will be fitted on existing Church buildings, but the systems are to be owned and maintained by the village, rather than the Church, and the water is to be conserved for times when the wells go brackish.”

The contract for construction works for Rain Water Harvesting on North Tarawa was signed on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 between the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities (MPWU) and King Holdings Ltd. King Holdings will be constructing Rain Water Harvesting Works on Tearinibai KPC church, Nuatabu KPC church, Nuatabu Catholic church, Taratai Catholic church, Tabonibara Catholic church and Tabonibara Catholic maneaba.

The selection of villages was chosen so as to complement the villages being covered under the KIRIWATSAN Rainwater Harvesting Project.

KAPIII Program Manager, Kautuna Kaitara said that, extensive community engagement has been undertaken with these communities both to obtain their input into the designs, and to obtain their agreement regarding how the systems are to be operated and maintained.

A MoU between the village and the Churches has been signed regarding ownership, maintenance and operation of the system, and the sharing and conservation of water. Further community engagement with the villages to establish a committee to manage the systems is ongoing.

The works are expected to be completed by June this year.

The Kiribati Adaptation Program- Phase III (KAPIII) is a five-year project under the Office of the President and funded via the World Bank GEF LDCF Trust Fund with co financing from the governments of Australia and Japan, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery partnership, as well as in-kind from the Government of Kiribati.