Tag Archives: republic of kiribati

Dutch Ambassador -  Robert Willem Zaagman presenting his credentials to Kiribati President, Anote Tong

Four new Ambassadors’ meet with President Tong

Dutch Ambassador -  Robert Willem Zaagman presenting his credentials to Kiribati President, Anote Tong

Dutch Ambassador – Robert Willem Zaagman presenting his credentials to Kiribati President, Anote Tong

Press Release: Bairiki Tarawa 24 February 2015

Four new ambassadors’ met with President Anote Tong last Monday to present their Letters of Credence as accredited Ambassadors’ to the Republic of Kiribati.

The visiting foreign diplomats include the U.S. Ambassador Ms. Judith Beth Cefkin, from the Netherlands – Dutch Ambassador Mr. Robert Willem Zaagman, Spanish Ambassador Mr. Manuel Viturro de la Tore and German Ambassador Dr. Anne-Marie Schleich.

All four diplomats are accredited Ambassadors’ to Kiribati after presenting their respective Letters of Credentials before Kiribati President His Excellency Anote Tong last Monday.

President Tong hosted the new ambassadors’ to an international cocktail reception last Monday where Tong spoke of the realization that we are one planet and as such there is greater need for global collaboration on the opportunities and challenges that the changing world pose such as climate change, sustainable development and fisheries to name but a few.

In his remarks on Monday night, President Tong reflected on the cordial relationship between Kiribati and the four countries and is confident that there is much to build on in pursuit of our mutual needs and promotion of the welfare of our peoples.

The Ambassadors’ from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, as members of the European Union, will be visiting EU-funded projects in the country specifically the EU – Environmentally Safe Aggregates to Tarawa (ESAT) project, the EU – Solar Energy Project (School and business Solar PV equipment) as well as EU – Kiribati Water and Sanitation project.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador Judith Cefkin will be officiating a ground-breaking ceremony in North Tarawa for a brand new health clinic funded by USAid.

All four ambassadors’, who are non-resident in Kiribati, depart for their respective missions on Thursday.

Participants of the SPC EU-GCCA: PSIS workshop try out the new tippy tap display. Photo: KAPIII

Hand washing with soap will save lives

Participants of the SPC EU-GCCA: PSIS workshop try out the new tippy tap display. Photo: KAPIII

Participants of the SPC EU-GCCA: PSIS workshop try out the new tippy tap display. Photo: KAPIII

Hand washing with soap is the most effective & inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal & acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries. Together, they are responsible for the majority of all child deaths. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, handwashing with soap is seldom practiced and difficult to promote. Turning handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention.

In Kiribati the Infant Mortality Rate is 47/1000 live births, which is the highest in the Pacific region. Hand washing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children under five by almost 50 percent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 percent.

On Wednesday 15 October 2014, Kiribati will be joining hands with over 200 million people in over 100 countries around the world to celebrate Global Hand Washing Day with the theme ‘Clean Hands Save Lives’. The event will be held in Bairiki Square in South Tarawa from 11am to 3pm in the presence of Secretaries, Diplomats, Heads o UN agencies, members of community and school students.

Global Hand Washing Day celebrations has been organized in a joint effort  by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Ministry of Public Works and Utilities (MPWU), Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development, Ministry of Education, Office of Te Beretitenti, Red Cross, Water and Sanitation Projects, KIRIWATSAN I, Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII),  SPC- EU GCCA: PSIS and the South Tarawa Sanitation Improvement Sector Project (STSISP).

The public is encouraged to join this celebration so that awareness and understanding of the importance of hand washing with soap can be practiced by all.

The event will include:
–          Demonstration of handwashing with soap
–          School event on Global Hand Washing theme
–          Drama show from Red Cross
–          Games for children
–          Floor show by KCCN (Kiribati Children Campaigners Network).

About the projects


The Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII) is a five-year climate change adaptation project under the Office of the President. The objective of KAPIII is to improve the resilience of Kiribati to the impacts of climate change on freshwater supply and coastal infrastructure.

Freshwater supply projects include providing support to the MPWU and PUB; the installation of rainwater harvesting works and infiltration gallery works in North and South Tarawa; and the detection and repair of leaks in the PUB’s pipe system from Buota to Betio.

KAPIII is 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.


The Water and Sanitation project in the Outer Islands of the Republic of Kiribati Phase I (KIRIWATSAN I) is funded by EU, implemented by the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities with technical assistance from UNICEF.

It involves 70 communities in the 16 Gilbert Islands. The project aims to empower people by engaging them to achieve better access to safe drinking water, adequate and socially acceptable sanitation facilities, combined with an effective education/awareness raising campaign to improve their understanding of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues and to encourage behavioural changes, especially starting with children, as agents of change.


The South Tarawa Sanitation Improvement Program (STSISP) aims to improve the health of communities on South Tarawa by rehabilitating and upgrading existing sanitation infrastructure. STSISP will improve access to sanitation services from 64 per cent of South Tarawa’s population in 2010 to 80 per cent by 2018. 

Rehabilitation of current infrastructure will limit contamination of groundwater reserves, which are currently polluted by pit latrines and poorly managed septic tanks.

The Asian Development Bank is the lead agency on this program.


The Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Island States (GCCA: PSIS) project is a three-year project funded by the European Union and executed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The overall objective of the GCCA: PSIS project is to support the governments of nine smaller Pacific Island States, namely Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu, in their efforts to tackle the adverse effects of climate change. The purpose of the project is to promote long-term strategies and approaches to adaptation planning and pave the way for more effective and coordinated aid delivery to address climate change at the national and regional level.

HE delivering statement at UNSG Climate Summit 23 Sep 2014, New York

Statement by HE Te Beretitenti, Anote Tong during UNSG’s Climate summit

HE delivering statement at UNSG Climate Summit 23 Sep 2014, New York

HE delivering statement at UNSG Climate Summit 23 Sep 2014, New York

UNSG’s Climate Summit
Tuesday 23 September, 2014
New York

The Secretary-General Mr Ban ki-moon


Distinguished delegates

Ladies and gentlemen

It is indeed an honour for me to extend to you all today very warm greetings from the Government and the people of Kiribati- on whose behalf I address this august meeting. Kam na bane ni Mauri and Greetings to you all!

I wish to begin by expressing my deep appreciation to you Mr. Secretary-General, for providing us this opportunity once again to seek a clear path in our struggle to come to terms with the full implications of the challenges posed by climate change to all of humanity. But whilst the scale, the severity and the urgency of the challenges will vary from country to country, from people to people the reality remains that the only effective remedy if any will require collective global commitment and above all action.

I believe that as a global community we have achieved considerable progress on the climate change debate since our meeting at Copenhagen in 2009. Much has happened in our erratic and unusual global weather patterns, which together with the most recent AR5 IPCC and other corroborating scientific reports to clearly indicate that, as sensible people we need to start taking the right measures to prepare ourselves for what is to come. We have all made our individual contributions to the literature on the climate change debate in our eloquent speeches which we have delivered here in New York and elsewhere over the years.

Excellencies the question now is “where do we go from here?” In fact during the SIDS Conference in Samoa and since, many have asked (mainly journalists) what is it that I expect to come out of this Summit or Paris in 2015? My answer is simple – ACTION ; action that would guarantee that the future of our people can be secured.

Climate change- remains the biggest threat

Ladies and gentlemen, I have just come back from an Artic Expedition and words could never fully explain the immensity of the system in the Arctic region or the full implications of the melting of the massive sheets of ice in the Arctic region. One could not fail to make the direct connection between the melting of such a massive amount of ice and the fate of our low lying atoll islands on the equator and indeed all coastal cities. The visit also brought home to me the global nature of the processes involved in climate change and the impossibility of reversing it once it has gone so far.

Need for Sacrifice and Partnership

Excellencies against the foregoing and the background of past statements which I shall not repeat here I believe that there is need for genuine commitment and sacrifice if the challenge of climate change is to be addressed.

In this vein we as an ocean state, have made a small contribution towards the preservation of one of the greatest natural endowments – the Pacific Ocean. The establishment of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), the second largest MPA in the world which complements the Pacific Oceanscape, an initiative which encompasses other small island nations’ marine protected areas. PIPA and the Pacific Oceanscape is our Pacific contribution and with it a statement to the global community that sacrifices can indeed be made.

Excellencies earlier this year, my country together with fellow low-lying atoll island states of Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Maldives and Tokelau – established the Coalition of Atoll Nations On Climate Change (CANCC –can see). The CANCC was not only a partnership between Climate Change frontline states, but it also forged partnership with our more developed allies. A partnership underscoring the concerns we jointly share over the slow pace of global action to address the increasing urgency and severity of the challenges we are already facing from climate change. A deep concern that for us time is fast running out.

Call for greater global leadership and commitment

The outcomes from the SIDS in Samoa, is indeed very encouraging in the commitment to establish a stand-alone goal on climate change as part of the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. However this commitment together with the leadership demonstrated by the Secretary General on this issue must be matched by our political leadership in particular by those whose participation or otherwise would mean success or failure to the process.

I have no doubt that we all agree that climate change poses a danger to all of us if in varying degrees. The science forthcoming from the IPCC AR5 and elsewhere together with our individual experiences in our own countries provide ample evidence that something is terribly wrong. Yet we continue to procrastinate, we continue to ignore what the science is telling us and indeed what we are witnessing with our own eyes.  We know that in order for us to make meaningful progress in addressing the challenge of climate change there is a need for strong and decisive global leadership – so we must get away from the wait to see who is doing what style of leadership before deciding to do what needs to be done.

For the sake of our children and their children let us do the right thing soon!

With these few words allow me to share with you all our traditional Kiribati blessing of Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa, (Health, Peace and Prosperity) to you all.

Thank you.

Kiribati people depend on potable well water, this supply has been affected by climate change

Kiribati to Celebrate World Water Day

Kiribati people depend on potable well water, this supply has been affected by climate change

Kiribati people depend on potable well water, this supply has been affected by climate change

Kiribati will be celebrating World Water Day on 24 March 2014 at the Bairiki Square in Kiribati’s capital, Tarawa, focusing on this year’s Kiribati theme ‘Water and Climate Change’.

People in Kiribati depend on potable ground water in wells and from rainwater, but this supply of water has been directly affected by climate change.

The ground water supply in South Tarawa is dependent on the size of the land area and as this diminishes as a result of rising sea levels and coastal erosion, so does the size of the water lens. This situation applies to all of the other islands of Kiribati.

Public Utilities Board (PUB), CEO, Kevin Rouatu said, Kiribati is like a floating ship with limited fresh water from its water lens, and despite the heavy rainfall that Kiribati has been blessed with in the past months, our water lens can only hold just a small percentage of the total rainfall.

“South Tarawa depends largely on the reservoirs in Buota and Bonriki so it is very vital for people to save the water they get from the main water system and not waste it”. Said Kevin Rouatu.

“KAPIII’s objective is to increase the resilience of Kiribati to the impacts of climate change on freshwater supply and coastal protection as a priority by the government of Kiribati”. Said Kautuna Kaitara, Program Manager for KAPIII.

“Our aim is to improve the water reticulation system on South Tarawa through leakage detection and repairs, to increase rainwater harvesting and to build abstraction galleries”, he said.

With regards to sustaining the Buota and Bonriki water reserves, Mr Kaitara said, KAPIII will be assisting in supporting the Government of Kiribati Water Committee by ensuring governance and sustainability of the systems in Bonriki and Buota villages.

“If water in this area is contaminated there will be no drinkable water to the 40 thousand plus population on South Tarawa and it will be catastrophic and costly for the people of South Tarawa compared to the  cost from a tsunami disaster”. Mr Kaitara said.

The Kiribati government through the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities, the Ministry of Health the Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII) Public Utilities Board, SMEC and GCCA have joined efforts to make the most of this year’s World Water Day celebrations.

Also read: Reducing leakage in Tarawa, World Water Day 2013, Why Tarawa needs water reserves
Follow the discussion and view pictures of Monday’s event on our Facebook page 

Kirarenti Muller and wife Totibure on their sea wall protecting their home back right of pic in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Fiji will not turn its back on Kiribati

Kirarenti Muller and wife Totibure on their sea wall protecting their home back right of pic in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Kirarenti Muller and wife Totibure on their sea wall protecting their home back right of pic in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Kiribati’s President Anote Tong  has welcomed assurance from Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that Fiji will not turn its back on Kiribati in its hour of need, Island Business, reports.

President Tong welcomed the remarks made by Prime Minister Bainimarama during the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Conservation and Protected Areas held in Suva last week where he said that “if the sea level continues to rise because the world won’t tackle global warming, some or all of the people of Kiribati may have to come to live in Fiji.”

The Kiribati leader said this is the kind of moral response we need especially from a neighbouring country within the Pacific.

“We realize that comments made by the Fijian Prime Minister are not easy… but for us the situation we find ourselves in is even more difficult,” President Tong said at the margins of the Parliament session now underway in the capital, Tarawa.

“I have often said that this is the moral challenge because it calls on answers which are unprecedented – never written and never heard of, so this calls for out-of-the-box solutions.” Tong added.

Read the full story on Islands Business

Also read, government land purchase within grasp
Follow the discussion on our Facebook page


Cultural identity theme to 34th Independence

Last year's Independence Day celebrations at Bairiki. Photo: Contributed.

Last year’s Independence Day celebrations at Bairiki. Photo: Contributed.

Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII) applauds the selection of this year’s Independence Anniversary theme, to ‘maintain cultural identity in development’ (‘babwaina te katei inanon te rikirake’).

KAPIII Project Manager Kautuna Kaitara said as a development project tasked to improve the resilience of Kiribati to the impacts of climate change, the KAPIII team was fully committed to upholding a culturally aware approach to all projects.

“KAPIII is tasked with increasing water supply and improving coastal protection in various local communities across the country and to ignore culture in any of these communities or projects would be very devastating,” Mr Kaitara said.

“I would like to congratulate the selection of 34th Independence Anniversary theme and hope it is reflected upon with some thought because our culture is very unique and without this identity Kiribati would be lost forever. Happy Independence celebrations to everyone.”

The Gilbert Islands became independent as Kiribati on 12 July 1979. In the Treaty of Tarawa, signed shortly after independence and ratified in 1983, the United States relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix Islands and those of the Line Islands that are part of Kiribati territory.

The 34th Independence Anniversary celebrations will feature an exciting and action-packed week of events, starting this Thursday 4 July, 2013 with the Inter Secondary School Competition at Bairiki Field.

Download the 34th Independence Anniversary – 2013 program (208KB, pdf)

Friday, the anniversary’s official day one, will see the continuation of the Inter Secondary School Competition from 7am as well as an early final inspection for gardening before the evening’s celebrations begin with the Opening Ceremony, live on Te Kabao BPA, at Bairiki Field from 7pm.

Key activities throughout the week include:

Day 2 (Saturday 6th July):

9am: Powerlifting, Bairiki Square
10am: JSS/Open Semi Final Soccer, Police Field Betio

Day 3 (Sunday 7 July):

7pm: Gospel songs competition, Bairiki Field

Day 4 (Monday 8 July):

11am: Wrestling Day one, Bairiki Field
11am: Weightlifting Day one, Bairiki Square
11am: Boat race, Bairiki Side
7pm: Open Talent, Bairiki Field

Day 5 (Tuesday 9 July):

9am: Wrestling Day two, Bairiki Field
9am: Soccer knockout SSS, Police Field Betio
9am to 5pm: Taekwando Final, KNYC
10am: Powerlifting Final, Bairiki Square
5pm: Cultural dancing Competition/JSS and SCC, Bairiki Field

Day 6 (Wednesday 10 July):

6pm: Beauty Contest, RKU Stadium

Day 7 (Thursday 11 July):

3pm: Boxing, Bairiki Volleyball Court
6pm: Battle of the Band (TSKL), RKU Stadium

Day 8 (Independence Day, 12 July, 2013):

From 6.30am at RKU Stadium
Finals from 10am at various locations

Download the 34th Independence Anniversary – 2013 program (208KB, pdf)

Climate Website Island Reports

Island Reports

Want to know more about a particular island?Nikunau Island report cover image

If so,  you’re in luck because the Office of The President recently completed the official 2012 Island Reports for Kiribati – and they’re available online.

The reports feature everything from general and geographic information to the current impacts and effects of climate change.

Gilbert Island Chain (North)

Tarawa – North
Tarawa – South

Gilbert Island Chain (Central)

Gilbert Island Chain (South)
Tabiteuea – North
Tabiteuea – South

Banaba Island

Line Islands


Phoenix Islands

None available

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


His Excellency Anote Tong

Kam na mauri and welcome

On behalf of the Government and people of Kiribati I am pleased to welcome you to this website, which is designed to bring you information and updates on our situation in Kiribati.

You will be aware that our small country is facing critically difficult times with regard to climate change issues & its impact on our future. We hope the content and links from this site will assist you in understanding more clearly our situation. I am also pleased to refer you to the short video clip “Kiribati – A Call to the World” here on this page which very much represents the concerns and feelings of our people.

We thank you sincerely for your interest, and refer you to this site, or the contacts detailed here, if any further information is required. In closing may I offer our traditional Kiribati blessing—Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa—may good health, peace and prosperity be with you all.

Anote Tong
President of the Republic of Kiribati