Dinner Dialogue

Dinner Dialogue with Te Kamwengaraoi Steering Committee

A dinner dialogue with Te Kamwengaraoi Steering Committee was hosted by the Minister of MELAD, Ruateki Tekaiara, on Friday evening 10th February 2023 at the Ocean Family Restaurant in Bairiki.

The dialogue aimed at addressing the pressing issue of poor waste management on South Tarawa and to gain insights from community and church representatives on their views to addressing these.

One of the pressing issues raised for discussion was the deposition of inorganic wastes in beach brush constructions (“katei buibui”). As was presented by ECD-MELAD’s Waste Disposal Officer, it has become increasingly evident that inorganic wastes are being used to fill up these constructed beach brushes. These add to more pollution of beaches and sea when on a high-tide waves carry these wastes into the sea. The attendees were informed that a better alternative would be to use coconut leaves and organic wastes as backfill and were also encouraged to inform their community and church members of this.

While the Green Bag and Kaoki Maange Systems were noted to be currently active solutions to addressing the waste issues on South Tarawa, it was acknowledged that the systems are still in need of improvement with collaborative assistance from churches and communities.

Among those who attended were representatives from the Roman Catholic Church, Kiribati Protestant Church, Kiribati Uniting Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Assemblies of God, and Baha’i. A representative from New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also joined MELAD officials in hosting the dialogue.

The dialogue was supported by the New Zealand funded Kiribati Solid Waste Management Programme Phase III through the Environment and Conservation Division of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development.

Blessing Ceremony of MELAD’s New Machinery

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.

Tobwaraoi Community Consultation

Consultation With Tobwaraoi Community, Nanikaai Village

On Friday, the 6th of January 2023, four staffs from the Red Cross and ECD visited Tobwaraoi Community at Nanikaai. The purpose of the visit involves a consultation meeting on how the community has maintained the cleanliness of their beach.

Tobwaraoi Community has one of the cleanest beaches on South Tarawa and the community has been sustainably managing the cleanliness of their beach for a commendable period of seven consecutive years. With the community’s full cooperation and perseverance as well as having their own constitution for designating each community member with a beach boundary to clean up, Tobwaraoi has been able to maintain a reputation for the cleanliness of their beach.

The community’s targets in maintaining their beach clean-ups include the protection of the ocean and marine life especially fish, which is their major food source, and preventing open defecation from the general public. Tourism is one of the main goals of this small community which they hope to achieve in the near future. By maintaining their coastal clean-ups, the practice has now become part of their everyday lives and has changed their behavior in relation to their waste management.  

ECD acknowledges and appreciates the community’s persevering efforts as it is from their full cooperation that a unique and good example is set, on how a community can get together to make a cleaner and healthier environment.

Scrap Metal News

News on the Scrap Metal Collection from the Environment and Conservation Division

Greetings to everyone in Kiribati, for your information, the Scrap Metal Project from New Zealand has already begun its operations on the collection of scrap vehicles – cars, buses, trucks and others – with the support of the Environment and Conservation Division under the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development. This project is funded by the New Zealand government and is run by the Macaulay Metals Limited company who is the main contractor and Argo Environmental who is the sub-contractor.

From Tuesday, the 1st of November to Sunday, the 18th of December, 2022, the project has already collected about 380 scrap vehicles. These scraps have also been baled and crushed with the use of a baling machine. These scrap vehicles have been collected from the scrap yard at Betio and from villages on South Tarawa that have been marked/selected including Betio.

Furthermore, it is expected that the project work on the collection of scrap vehicles will be happening for the next two weeks in different villages of South Tarawa which are Banraeaba, Ambo, Teaoraereke, Temwaiku, Bonriki as well as Betio and those found along the sides of the main island road. The places that have been marked/selected for the collection of the scrap vehicles, a consultation between the owner and an officer from the Agro Environmental is conducted for the collection of their scrap vehicle. With the owner’s agreement, their scrap vehicle could then be collected by workers from the Macaulay Metals Limited and sent to the scrap yard at Betio. Scrap vehicles that are delivered to the scrap yard with their own transportation by the public is also appreciated and can be delivered from Monday to Friday.

It is highly encouraged to those who wish to have their scrap vehicles collected or delivered on their own accord to dispose any rubbish inside their car and put it inside a green bag. The Environment and Conservation Division also has a regulation for scrap cars that are abandoned or left near the main road, on any public place and on private land whereby a person who is found to commit such an offence would be convicted to a fine not exceeding $500,000.00 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years. As for a body corporate or business, to a fine not exceeding $1,000,000.00 or to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years. The general public should also know that the collection of their scrap vehicles from their home or place is free of charge. Therefore, it is with an earnest wish to the general public should they make use of this project as it will be your own expense to pay for the collection of your scrap vehicles once the project ends.

So, for those of you who haven’t got into contact for the collection of your scrap vehicles from your home or place and you wish for it to be collected, please do not hesitate the Environment and Conservation Division via this contact number 75228000 or the free line at 417 for assistance.

Remember that by working together would contribute to the sustainable cleanliness and health of our environment for today and tomorrow that will maintain our country as Kiribati te Boboto (Kiribati is Beautiful).