Littering Enforcement Taskforce during the Lease Payment 20th January to 7th February 2023

To enforce the littering provision of the Environment Act 2021, the Littering Enforcement Taskforce of MELAD-ECD were stationed at all lease payment venues from 20th January 2023 until 7th February 2023. The Licensing, Compliance and Prosecution Section of ECD facilitated this activity with assistance from empowered Environment Inspectors from two Security firms, Kabwaian Betio Community and the Diocese of Tarawa and Nauru.

While the inspectors were stationed at the two lease payment venues (Arorae Maneaba and Tewakirake Maneaba), they also took time to monitor other areas including the Bairiki supermall, Bairiki square, BPA bus stand, Bairiki Police Station and Taotin Plaza. It was found that more people were littering at the Bairiki square, Taotin Plaza and BPA bus stand as demonstrated from the number of fines paid.

One of the major challenges faced by the inspectors was that several people refused to be fined as they claimed they were not aware of the littering offence under the Environment Act 2021. The public is urged to understand that the Environment Act 2021 does not only outline the responsibilities of the Environment and Conservation Division but also outlines the obligations of the public and all Kiribati citizens in protecting and ensuring the sustainable health of the Kiribati environment. For this, the issuing of fines is at the discretion of the inspectors with consideration of the context and situation at which the offence takes place.

The Littering Enforcement Taskforce is one of ECD’s active stakeholders consisting of community members and security firms. ECD works closely with this taskforce often during major events to enforce the Environment Act and to ensure littering is controlled. It is expected that these operations will continue during future Lease Payments and other major national events.

MELAD-ECD encourages the public to avoid littering and to throw all forms of wastes in green bags or in litter bins, where provided. The Environment Act was established to protect the environment from pollution for the benefit of the people and future generations of Kiribati.

Let us work together to ensure a sustainable and resilient Kiribati environment.