Tag Archives: Ministry of Environment

GPS Training Day 2

New High Precision GPS Equipment for Kiribati

GPS Training Day 2

GPS Training Day 2

The shoreline and infrastructure assets are key elements of daily life in South Tarawa. Until now the accurate mapping and monitoring of these things has been undertaken using basic survey equipment and low accuracy GPS equipment. A new high precision state of the art GPS equipment has been purchased to improve the accuracy of measurement and recording of information in South Tarawa. The equipment was put to use on Tuesday 10th February with the first training workshop completed.

The equipment, worth in excess of $40,000, has been bought under the KAP III program and will be made available to the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities (MPWU), the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to vastly improve the speed and accuracy of the survey work they undertake. It is expected that the MPWU will use the equipment for monitoring shoreline erosion and will be able to quantify erosions rates to identify areas most of need of reinforcement. The PUB will use the equipment to accurately locate the water, electricity and sewer pipes, cables and fittings so that they can be relocated if they become buried over time. The MELAD officers will be able to use the equipment to more accurately define land boundaries and remark boundaries where necessary.

Part of the purchase included a week of training by Mr Rob van Manen, a GPS expert from Brisbane Australia. Rob described the new GPS system as being similar to that many fisherman might use and still used the same satellites but was far more accurate by being able to track more satellites and it was able to correct for the inaccuracies found in basic GPS units used for fishing. Rob praised the staff from MPWU, PUB and MELAD who undertook the training and noted they had all learned how to use the equipment very quickly and the days in the field with each ministry to show how to use the equipment in their normal daily tasks had been very productive.

Selling bananas on a busy morning

Bananas for sale in climate change struck Kiribati


Emaa Kiribi, 53, enjoys her everyday selling fresh bananas: Photo by Kantaake Corbett, KAPIII.

Emaa Kiribi, 53, enjoys her everyday selling fresh bananas: Photo by Kantaake Corbett, KAPIII.

Meet a mother of four children from the island of Butaritari the second Northern Island in Kiribati who is a passionate banana sale’s woman by the name of Emaa Kiribi, 53 years old.

Emaa knows almost all the faces of the regulars who walk the capital street of Bairiki and who are kind enough to buy just one banana to keep them healthy and to give her, an income.

Earning almost $20 a day, the woman is able to save up just enough for her youngest daughter Telafue Teretia, 14 years old who attends form one in Butaritari Junior Secondary School. She started supporting her children alone in 2009 after her husband Teretia from Makin and Butaritari passed away. The husband worked for the Kiribati Shipping Agency from 1999 to 2004 and then became a regular fisherman from Betio until his passing.

A devout catholic who grew up in other churches such as KPC and Baha’I, Emaa believes people are all the same and that people have the right to choose which church to attend because they are all true.

The couple joined the Latter Day Saints (LDS) in 2007 almost the same time she took up the job selling fresh yummy bananas.

“Bananas have grown well in the garden Island of Butaritari because it is in the North, and therefore rains a lot and we know bananas love to grow in both hot and wet conditions. Cultivating and managing bananas is highly supported by MELAD because it is a healthy fruit for the people and now, another means of income to a lot of families.” Takena Redfern, Senior Agriculture Officer (SAO), Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD), Agriculture and Livestock Division.

Climate resilient crops such as cassava, Kumara and Taro have also been introduced in Butaritari as well as other Islands in Kiribati to help the people in Kiribati adapt to climate change and because it grows well in Butaritari, a market of exporting from Butaritari to Tarawa is possible to help other islands and mainly the capital Tarawa where almost half the population of Kiribati now reside.

When asked if she wanted to migrate due to sea level rise to bigger countries like New Zealand and Australia through the Pacific Access Category (PAC), Emaa kindly said she would rather live in Kiribati for the rest of her dear life. Emaa is afraid of the Tsunami stories that she’s heard and believes it is safer here because of the big ocean.

Having only completed class nine back in the days, Emaa’s only wish for her youngest daughter when asked if she wanted her daughter to live abroad was that – she would rather see her youngest daughter serve her mission and then decide for herself.

Kiribati people want to migrate with dignity.

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