Tag Archives: Office of The President

Kiribati on Tsunami Alert – low risk expected

An 8.3 magnitude earthquake hitting the central zone of Chile has generated a tsunami alert for the North and South American Pacific coasts as well as Pacific Island countries including Kiribati.

A statement from the Office of the President has confirmed that the alert for Kiribati is in effect but the risks will be minimal given the projected timings of impact will coincide with low tide.

The Kiribati Meteorological Service (KMS) reports the tsunami will generate waves between 0.3 to 1 metre above sea level however, the impact time will coincide with low tide (0036hrs – 0638hrs) and hence minimal impact is anticipated. The projected timings of impact are as follows:

Kiritimati 1231hrs (UTC)
Kanton    1342hrs (UTC)
Tarawa    1556hrs (UTC)

KMS added that while tsunami impact is categorized low risk, mariners and people along the coasts are urged to take precautionary measures.

Meanwhile,  a nation-wide radio announcement was aired noon today for the public’s information.

READ MORE: Chile earthquake: Five dead, million evacuated as tsunami hits central coastline after quake

Get your copy: 2015 Kiribati Tide Calendar

The Tamana Pump. Photo by: Carlo Iocovino

Water supply in Kiribati: Local solution

The Tamana Pump. Photo by: Carlo Iocovino

The Tamana Pump. Photo by: Carlo Iocovino

Press release: SPREP

The atoll of Tamana, in Southern Kiribati, is the origin of a pump design that has helped thousands of communities in the Pacific Island nation.

Now known across Kiribati and internationally as the Tamana Pump, the design is a simple hand powered system that can greatly reduce water contamination by allowing pumping from closed wells.

“It is essential to have a pump rather than use a bucket or a tin container to bring water. This common system of using a container on a string contaminates the well water” said Hon. Waysang Kumkee, Minister for Public Works and Utility (pictured below).

Hon. Waysang Kumkee, Minister for the Ministry of Works and Public Utilities. Photo: Azarel Marina
Hon. Waysang Kumkee, Minister for the Ministry of Works and Public Utilities. Photo: Azarel Marina

 On the remote outer islands of Kiribati, maintenance and spare parts might be many months away when the next supply ship or qualified technician arrives. But the Tamana pump has no electronics or complicated mechanical parts, allowing it to be repaired more easily if a system breaks down. Furthermore, it is a system that is well known enough the many community members are capable of repairing them themselves.

“If we can have 1 water tank to service a small community with a manual pump and try to avoid having an electrical pump, because our problem is maintenance and servicing, no one can actually look after it if it breaks. A manual pump, or gravity feed system, is the best long term solution” said the Hon. Waysang Kumkee.

SPREP has undertaken assessments on Abaiang atoll which included water testing that confirmed superior water quality at sites with Tamana pump systems. There is great potential for improved water supply solutions on the atoll as 92% of households there reported using hand held buckets to obtain water from their wells. Sites will now be indentified  where the new Tamama pumps can be installed.

The Government of Kiribati is leading a ‘whole-of-island’ integrated approach to climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. Abaiang atoll is the first site for this approach.Within the integrated approach, SPREP and the Kiribati Ministry of Public Works and Utilities, with project funding from USAID, are aiming to improve water resources capacity in Abaiang. The project will enable communities on the atoll to manage their water supply and better understand the vulnerabilities they are facing from climate change and non-climate related risks.

Also read: Kiribati celebrates World Water Day
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Office of The President staff photo, 2012. Photo: OB

Office of The President

The Office of Te Beretitenti (OB) stands in support of the Beretitenti (President) and Cabinet in delivering their vision for the people of Kiribati.  The OB has a more flexible portfolio than other Ministries, and can assist the President and Cabinet as required.  As well as providing secretariat and protocol support to the President and Cabinet, the OB has responsibilities for ministerial co-ordination and cross-Ministry functions including communications, disaster risk management, climate change policy and population policy.

In the most recent election, the public of Kiribati voted for change and this Government is committed to delivering an ambitious program of changes and improvements across many areas.

The Government is committed to increasing openness and transparency and to ensuring that the public is reliably informed and made aware of all Government activities, programs and projects.  This includes disclosure and publication of data and information that will help the public to hold Government accountable for its decisions and for the use of public funds.

Climate change poses many serious threats to our future as a nation.  Kiribati has a strong international profile but the challenge now is to take this forward locally.  On the related issue of disaster risks, Kiribati needs to be better prepared, with broad understanding from the public and strong backup from all Ministries.

Visit the Office of The President’s official website