28 Apr 2014

EU funding helping Kiribati solve drought problem

9:16 am on 28 April 2014

The European Union has sent delegates to the remote Kiribati atoll of Kiritimati Island to check on progress with its water programme.

Compared to the distant capital of Tarawa atoll, Kiritimati has far less rainfall and its almost 6000 population often faces long droughts.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community is driving the programme, and the coordinator, George Beck, says as the island has been earmarked for a growth centre, something must be done to secure the water lens and look at alternative ways to conserve.

"At the moment the reticulated water supply, the current piping infrastructure, is dilapidated and not maintained over the last ten years. So what we intend to do through this project is to rehabilitate the water supply as well as build new pumping and solar pumps at the main water lens in order to supply more water to the households."

George Beck says the rebuilding will start in June, and a new piping system should be in place next year.