21 Feb 2014

Remote Kiribati islanders still waiting for supply boat to be built

10:18 am on 21 February 2014

The people of Banaba island in Kiribati have expressed their concerns about delays in the completion of a boat being built by the government.

The Kiribati Independent reports it has been four years since the project began.

The boat, which is big enough to run between Banaba and the capital Tarawa regularly, will help ease problems of food shortages on the island.

The boat-building manager of the Betio shipyard says work was suspended at the beginning of the year because they ran out of materials.

Tibanga Taratai says they have written a letter to the ministry of internal affairs asking for more materials but they haven't received a response.

The Banaban MP, Timon Aneri, says while work has been suspended he's hoping funds allocated for this project will be kept aside and not spent on other things.

He says the people of Banaba are isolated and they desperately need their own boat.