Abaiang Climate Change Adaptation Water Supply Pilot Project.

Secretariat of the Pacific Region Environment Programme (SPREP), Samoa, funded by USAID.

Abaiang Atoll, Republic of Kiribati.

October 2015 to March 2016.

Axiom was engaged by SPREP to provide technical support to the Ministry of Public Works and Utilties in Kiribati to improve the water supply in 4 villages.

Village Water Supply for Climate Change Adaptation

The Abaiang Water Supply Pilot project was established to evaluate measures to address the impacts of climate change on water supplies in four villages on Abaiang.

The desired outcome of the project was to increase water security and safety for the village residents by improving household well protection and providing hand pumps to increase ease of water access

The purpose of the assignment was to provide specialist design and construction support for improving the village household water supplies (climate change adaptation approaches, water quality evaluation, HWTS, well protection, hand pump design and installation).

Axiom’s Director, Peter Sharry, delivered the project mostly working in Kiribati with the Water Technicians from the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities (MPWU).

The services provided include:

  • Census of wells to be upgraded (215) including collection of GPS coordinates and production of location maps.
  • Revise and finalise the MPWU’s design of the Tamana and Marakei pumps.
  • Establish a Bill of Materials (BoM) and develop the costing for the materials procurement, fabrication and installation of pumps for the four villages (Taburao, Tebero, Tanimaiaki and Tabontebike).
  • Review the Climate Change Adaptation options for the village of Tabontebike based on existing vulnerability and water resource assessment reports.
  • Develop guidelines for the installation of the water infrastructure to be implemented under the project.
  • Interact with community to raise awareness of construction quality standards measures and practices.
  • Supervision of the initial construction works.
  • Develop guidelines and checklists for inspection of all aspects of the water systems installed (for hand pumps and rainwater harvesting).
  • Develop a basic Asset Management Plan for water assets (hand pumps and rainwater harvesting) implemented by project, suitable for use by MPWU staff and village communities.
  • Provide mentoring, capacity building and training in relation to (a) water resource assessment, monitoring, analysis and reporting and (b) off-network water supply system design, operation and maintenance.
  • Provide a report on lessons learnt

Services were mostly delivered in-country from Tarawa or Abaiang, with the report writing components being completed from our Australian office.

When in Kiribati, Peter worked alongside the local staff during all phases of the work. This was vital to understand the project context, provide training and mentoring, share learnings, build capacity in the team and engage appropriately with the atoll communities.

Because of the remote location, magnitude of costs and anticipated logistical issues, the procurement of materials for the pump fabrication was managed by the client.

The project delivered the first Marakei water system on Abaiang (and the first for the team) and approximately 30 wells were upgraded with Tamana pumps during the contract period. This meant that the local staff gained sufficient procedures, training, knowledge and skills to complete the remaining installations independently.

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