The Kiribati 20 year vision, KV20 sets out the long-term development blueprint for Kiribati. The Vision is anchored on four pillars: Wealth; Peace and Security; Infrastructure; and Governance. Improving the contribution of tourism to GDP and implementing strategies to support the development of the private sector are identified amongst a number of mechanisms to support wealth. Waste management practices are able to contribute to both.

After a visit in June, waste management stakeholders have agreed to work with PacificTA advisors to discuss options for outsourcing waste management on South Tarawa. The stakeholders in waste management include the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development, Betio Town Council, and Teinainano Urban Council.

Kiribati peeps


In August, a one and half day workshop was held, exploring options for the delivery of services on Tarawa and the strengths and weaknesses of proposed options. Attendees at the workshop totalled 23, with representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development, Betio Town Council, Teinainano Urban Council and the New Zealand High Commission.

 Workshop participants were generally in agreement regarding the delivery of waste services on South Tarawa:

  1. Councils will retain responsibility for managing the landfills, green waste collection and additional work in public spaces, including street and litter.
  2. Councils are considering options to outsource some parts of the green waste collection and public spaces work to community groups.
  3. Workshop participants agree that there should be one waste collection service for South Tarawa houses, and that this service should be out-sourced to a contractor.
  4. Council representatives at the workshop were committed to continue waste collection to Kiribati Housing.
  5. The need for increasing education and enforcement were strongly supported by all participants at the workshop.

 Kiri workshop web

The workshops closed with an agreement for the New Zealand local government advisors to prepare and present a model and budget for service delivery to Betio Town Council and Teinainano Urban Council, in early October. Detailed budgets including staff resourcing, maintenance and health and safety were presented to Mayors, Clerks and other key stakeholders in October 2018.


Review of waste management

In July 2014, Brent Aitken, from Taupo District Council, accompanied Brett Way to undertake a review of the strategic direction for waste management in Kiribati.  With Betio and Teinainano Councils both experiencing rapid growth there is an on-going need to encourage community behavioural change. Behaviour change in the community needs to be supported with robust service delivery that ensures that pubic expectations of a consistent and reliable service are not undermined. It was proposed that the councils look at the option of sharing the delivery of waste management services on South Tarawa.

To read the report on the review of the Kiribati waste management, click here.


Landfill management

Kiribati Brett and Harry head and shoulders shot Kiribati landfill photo could be anywhere

Brett Way, Utilities Manager for Central Hawkes Bay District Council, embarked on a PacificTA project when he worked in Kiribati in April 2013. Brett has since undertaken several more visits to Kiribati.

Mr Way said his first trip had proved both challenging and fulfilling. The tiny nation is densely populated, facing major pollution issues and one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change.

His tasks included helping Kiribati authorities to establish the best ways to extend the life of existing landfill facilities and maximise the efficiency of their waste collection services.

This included looking at better ways to compact waste and to cover landfill to prevent animal scavenging and flies.

“In New Zealand you would put a soil lid over the landfill, but there is very little soil on the island and sand is not suitable, so we tried different alternatives and found heavy coconut palm fronds were quite effective,” he said.

He also provided health and safety, and traffic management training for rubbish collection staff.

“It is largely a mentoring role," he says. “The emphasis of PacificTA is working alongside the local authorities. You have to step back from what you do in New Zealand and recognise that they have very limited resources, and you have got to work with them on what they have got.  What is standard in New Zealand you simply cannot get in Kiribati.”

Mr Way said council staff were enthusiastic about sharing ideas and the Kiribati people were very welcoming.

Kiribati H s training group photo2 

To read the full Kiribati waste reports, click on the links below.