Blessing Ceremony For The Arrival Of MELAD’s New Machinery

A ceremony was held on Wednesday 1st February 2023 at the MELAD Head Quarter at Bikenibeu to bless a new Hyundai 12 tonne wheel loader that arrived in Kiribati to work on the landfills on South Tarawa. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of MELAD, HM Ruateki Tekaia, who gave a speech and words of appreciation to the New Zealand government for their support to the Government of Kiribati in providing the new wheel loader, that will help in solid waste management. The ceremony was also attended by the Secretary of MELAD with her team, including the Mayor, Council and Clerk from TUC and a Priest with two Brothers from the Bikenibeu Parish.

This machine was procured through the Kiribati – New Zealand Solid Waste Management partnership to help improve the management of Tarawa landfills. It is part of the long-term support to Kiribati to improve waste management that New Zealand has provided over the last ten years including supporting the Green Bag system. The machine is a great help to MELAD and the support of New Zealand in this important effort to improve the waste situation is greatly appreciated.

Since the landfills at Betio, Nanikaai and Bikenibeu are filling up at a rapid pace, the heavy machine will help compact the rubbish at the landfills to create more space for more rubbish to be deposited. The machine has special solid rubber wheels to enable it to drive around in the landfills and flatten the rubbish out without getting punctures. With this work, the landfills will be maintained for a longer period and allow for the land to be reclaimed for future purposes such as industrial use.

The public is urged to have their rubbish collected and sent to the landfills in order to avoid pollution to ground waters, the sea and coral reefs that could ultimately damage the environment that protects the islands. MELAD-ECD is working to improve the waste collection system as well as carrying out initiatives on solid waste management.  This can also be achieved with the general public’s cooperation by using the Green Bag as this will help prevent rubbish being scattered on the land, beaches and ocean.