2 Sep 2013

Banabans in Kiribati still fighting for mining compensation

4:48 am on 2 September 2013

A landowner from Banaba island in Kiribati says his people will keep fighting for compensation for the depletion of the island's phosphate resources.

The Kiribati government is still considering various claims for compensation to former employees of the British Phosphate Company in Banaba.

Banabans have sought compensation for decades and while some payments have been made, local people say they're largely frustrated at what they see as inadequate responses from governments involved.

Raobeia Ken Sigrah says those who benefitted from the mining of Banaba's phosphate are still obliged to compensate, but Banabans understand they are essentially on their own.

"The indication of the big countries - like Australia, New Zealand, England - to them I think it's a dead case. But to us, no it isn't. And that is why we're still trying to fight for the right thing. Even now we are trying to rehabilitate our homeland. What you have now is only about a hundred and fifty acres after the mining, and that is the only piece of land that we have. We're just being careful not to lose (our land) any more."

Ken Sigrah.