Construction of Water harvesting infrastructure and Septic toilet systems, and improving the St. Patrick community's adaptive capacity to Natural Hazards.
Construction of Water harvesting infrastructure and Septic toilet systems, and improving the St. Patrick community's adaptive capacity to Natural Hazards.
The objective of this project is to rehabilitate the community rainwater catchment, well water pumping system and sanitation systems for the St. Patrick community, which will provide safe water and sanitary facilities to the community thereby enhancing the community?s capacity to cope with the natural hazard of drought and adapt to climate change. The project will solve the dual issue of insufficient and contaminated supply of fresh water to the community during the dry months leading to the improved livelihoods of the citizenry by enhancing the sustainable land management activities.
This project of SPSDC is for the St Patrick Community which is an urban sector community of about 400 Catholic followers residing on the eastern end of the main village of Bikenibeu on South Tarawa. The physical environments of urban Bikenibeu village are suffering from increasing household waste, sewage and refuse, imported waste such as plastics, glass and aluminum foil and other pollutants. Underground freshwater resources (water lens) are being endangered from pollutants from various sources, including unsupervised solid waste dumping, siting of pig pens, and open defecation. Compounding matters in the village is the growing population that has seen urban Bikenibeu village population significantly increased by more than 15 percent (6568 - 7575 people in five years) from the 2015 Census figures. Underground water is no longer safe for drinking purposes in urban Bikenibeu. Also, the village wells are getting more saline with over extraction by the increased population but particularly through now more frequent droughts.
The basic objective of the project is to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in the community through improved water supply and sanitation (WSSS) services.
To reduce pollution on the underground freshwater resource and at the same time help contribute to reduction of global climate change, the community will be engaged in health and sanitation trainings and improving waste management by e.g. moving pigpens further inland and away from wells, and construction/demonstration of septic toilets and relocating and establishing a village well-system further away from the coastal region to provide a safe water supply system to the village.
GEF SGP support will result in mobilizing and fostering active community participation for a sustainable village community management programme. The project will i) construct and rehabilitate the community WSSS facilities, ii) build the capacity of the community for operations and maintenance, iii) establish rain and well-water supply systems, iv) enhance awareness of good hygiene and water conservation practices, and v) provide income and livelihood support to beneficiary communities.
Superimposed to the existing problems is the adverse effect of climate change that is already being felt today. Climate change is of intense concern to the low-lying Kiribati islands nation, and of particular concern to the St. Patrick community on urban Bikenibeu village. The very poor and infertile nature of the terrain of the atoll islands of Kiribati makes them extremely vulnerable to climate change. The soil structure (or lack of it) of the land area, limits the village communities from growing many sustainable food crops. When there is more than normal rainfall or storms there is groundwater flooding, and spread of contaminants, and when there is prolonged and more frequent droughts, as currently experienced, the limited variety of food crops grown are dying out and the fresh water wells are severely limited to drying up soon.
The project is proposing to rehabilitate the community rainwater catchment and ground well water pumping system and constructing a sanitary toilet system for the St. Patrick community which will provide safe portable water supplies and protection from ground water contaminations, including water-borne diseases, thereby enhancing the community?s capacity to cope with the natural hazard of drought and adapt to climate change. The above stated objectives will be achieved with the project outcomes explained in section 4.1.

The St. Patrick community is in the eastern sector of urban Bikenibeu village on South Tarawa. The population is around 400 persons, 65% of whom are estimated to be less than 35years of age. The women folks are estimated to number slightly more than 200. Many members of St Patrick community are employed in government sectors, and NGOs but many are also unemployed and engaged in sales of local food, handicrafts and fisheries products.
The congested area of the St. Patrick community now faces the following challenges:
o High level of vector borne diseases and non-communicable diseases
o Unsanitary conditions of the community area which is the community water catchment area
o Lack of safe portable water
o Rehabilitation of infrastructure and utilities
o Economic base i.e., fruit trees and sufficient arable land for vegetable gardening to provide a comfortable source of livelihood for residents is depleted by drought

Kiribati has a hot and humid tropical climate. In Tarawa, for example, maximum and minimum air temperatures (range of 27?C -31?C) are very consistent throughout the year. However, some variations exist in the seasonal cycle between islands because of the extensive spread of geographical locations and due to differences in the degree of modulation by the major climate drivers such as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) that mainly affects islands north of the equator such as South Tarawa, and the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) that affects southern islands of Kiribati. The El Ni?o?Southern Oscillation (ENSO) modulates year-to-year climate variability.
For the urban Bikenibeu area and that of South Tarawa, the mean rainfall, air temperature, sea surface temperature and the frequency and strength of extreme events are projected to increase. Mean sea-level is also projected to continue to increase during the 21st century. These changes are likely to have a large impact on various sectors such as food and agriculture.
South Tarawa?s dry season has now continued into its second year, and it is likely to continue into its third year. Climate change affects rainfall and increase evaporation, which has placed increased pressure on the ecosystems services. During the dry months, reliable and clean water is a real challenge for the community. Rainwater harvesting is a viable adaptation strategy for the citizens of community. But also, important to build St. Patrick community?s awareness of public health and environmental issues through demonstration intervention projects that provide water security, improved sanitary measures and sustainable land resources development benefits that also help St. Patrick communities mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The project will enhance the community?s awareness of the importance of ecosystem services and remind residents of the role of rainfall, sanitation and public health and sustainable land management practices to support these systems. The project will address the well-being and improved ecosystems services of the community. It will also demonstrate the importance of partnering with the local authority to develop intervention that will improve in particular, the coping response to drought and adapt to climate change in general.
The project will improve sanitation and hygiene practices among St. Patrick?s population through a community engagement program, upgrade of priority water and sanitation infrastructure, and onsite sanitation systems. Rainwater harvesting and sanitation infrastructure construction will strengthen social capital of the St. Patrick community. With the improvement in domestic water supply with rainwater harvesting interventions, it will no doubt save the residents on the time it takes to fetch water. It also improves household sanitation and health; and provides opportunity for community to enlarge their economic base, i.e., engage in planting fruit trees and vegetable gardening to provide a comfortable source of livelihood for residents. The value systems (for example improved team approaches) of the community organizations will be strengthened, enabling them to address other developmental challenges. There will also be a greater sense of ownership amongst community members.
The climate change impacts which results in an extended drought period leading to a decrease in the mortality rates of the trees and food crops can be alleviated through the creation and protection of rainwater harvesting systems. The rainwater harvesting systems lead to extended cropping and planting season and mitigate against the ravages of droughts that will lead to improved yield. The awareness building and sustainable land management sessions will enhance the environmental quality of the whole St. Patrick community area.
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Project Snapshot

St. Patrick Sector Development Committee SPSDC
Area Of Work:
Community Based Adaptation
Climate Change Mitigation
Operational Phase:
Phase 5
Grant Amount:
US$ 20,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 41,000.00
Project Number:
Start Date:
End Date:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
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Grantee Contact

Mr. Buratio Arebonto


St Patrick Maneaba
Bikenibeu , Tarawa ,

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Komeri Onorio


UN Joint Presence Office, Kabutikeke
Bikenibeu, Tarawa