13 Mar 2015

Causeway restrictions limit food supplies in Kiribati

8:16 am on 13 March 2015

A distribution company on Betio in Kiribati says some food supplies in South Tarawa have already started to run low due to transport restrictions on a damaged causeway.

Causeway connecting Bairiki and Betio in Tarawa, Kiribati

Causeway connecting Bairiki and Betio in Tarawa, Kiribati Photo: RNZI Walter Zweifel

The Dai Nippon Causeway links the two most populated parts of Tarawa atoll, Betio and Bairiki, and was damaged by high seas on Wednesday night.

As a result, travel on the causeway has been restricted to vehicles which weigh less than two tonnes.

The operations manager for import company Moel Trading, Willie Maen, says the company's main warehouse in Betio supplies retail stores and a wholesale and distribution warehouse on the Bairiki side.

He says that warehouse has already run out of main commodities like rice, flour, and sugar.

"We need this connection through the causeway to be restored as soon as possible, otherwise it's food supply to South Tarawa, from Betio, as well as the fuel delivery, as service stations are on the other side also have run out of fuel, so there will be a lot of inconvenience to be experienced by the residents of the other side as well as the business community."

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Photo: AFP / SPC