Tag Archives: SPREP

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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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

The Children Take Action - a Climate Change Story

The Children Take Action: book

A new book The Children Take Action – a Climate Change Story will be distributed to every primary school in Kiribati in order to improve literacy skills and help children learn the basics of climate change and its impacts on our environment.

The book, which is available in English and te-Kiribati, is as an ideal resource to accompany the new syllabus and teacher guides currently being developed for Kiribati primary schools, according to the Curriculum Development and Resource Centre (CDRC).

The new syllabus integrates key elements of climate change using education for sustainable development principles to work towards the nation’s vision to “nurture our children and young people to become wise and worthwhile citizens able to adapt to, and participate in, their changing world”.

To date, 6,000 copies of the book have been given to the CDRC to distribute to primary schools.

The Children Take Action - a Climate Change Story

The Children Take Action – a Climate Change Story

A sample of the book reads:

Jone didn’t know what climate change was and asked his grandfather to explain. Grandpa told Jone that the Earth’s temperature is becoming hotter. “My temperature gets hot when I am unwell,” said Jone. “Yes!” said Grandpa. “The Earth is becoming unwell too. There is less food for the birds and the fish. That is why they are leaving our island.” “What is making the Earth sick?” Jone asked. “We are,” said Grandpa. “Gases from our cars, buses and factories are making the Earth too hot.” “People are driving more cars and building more factories. So the Earth is getting hotter and hotter.” “Just like putting too many blankets on me!” said Jone.

The story was developed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and 1500 copies were printed with funding from the Australian International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative. The book has since been translated into te-Kiribati and 6360 copies printed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)/Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region Programme.

The overall curriculum review is being supported under the Kiribati Education Improvement Programme (KEIP) of the Ministry of Education (supported by AusAID, UNESCO, UNICEF and NZAid)