14 Jan 2013

Communities in Kiribati warned not to vandalise water reserve

12:23 pm on 14 January 2013

The manager of a water rehabilitation project in the Kiribati capital says the public is being warned to protect the reserve from vandalism or risk losing their water supply.

The Public Utilities Board and the Kiribati Adaptation Programme-Phase Three have replaced damaged pipes and pumps, and reopened the Buota Water Reserve after more than a year of inactivity due to vandalism and the loss of electricity to the site.

During the time, an alternative water supply was extracted from Bonriki Reserve.

The project manager, Kautuna Kaitara, says officials are working closely with communities in Buota to try and protect the infrastructure and educate them about the consequences of vandalism.

"We need to sustain the water extraction from Buota. We need also to have the confidence of the people that they are not going to vandalise this infrastructure. So it is now left with the PUB or government now, with the Public Utilities Water in this instance who the caretakers of this water reserve, to have more dialogue and consultation with the community in Buota for that matter."

Kautuna Kaitara says during the rehabilitation project, Bonriki reserve was close to over-extraction.