Our Role

MPWU’s Strategic Plan provides guidance for the delivery of the Ministry’s activities relating to national infrastructure development and provision of public utilities and services over the period 2016-2019. Activities are listed with key performance indicators (KPIs) and financial implication estimates to facilitate progress monitoring, reporting and evaluation. The plan has been aligned with the Kiribati Development Plan (KDP) 2016-2019 to enable the achievement of both sector and national aspirations or outcomes especially related to infrastructure and utilities. As such, it will prove an invaluable reference for development partners in aligning their assistance objectives with the Ministry’s activities. The plan, therefore, serves to complement and support the KDP 2016-2019 and similar development guidelines.

 “I-Kiribati utilising appropriate, well-maintained and Climate Change-resilient infrastructure and utility services.”

 “To develop, sustain and provide access to infrastructure and utility services to the Kiribati people in a changing socioeconomic environment using appropriate technologies.”
           The Ministry of Public Works & Utilities (MPWU) is charged with basic infrastructure development and maintenance to support transport, coastal protection and water conservation initiativess among others. In terms of infrastructure development and maintenance, activities are hampered by expensive materials such as cement, timber, water pipes and specialised devices like desalination plant, solar water pumps,heavy machinery such as backhoe excavators, rollers, tipper trucks and a lot more. Project implementation issues are numerous. The KiriWatSan Project, for example, has been faced with the challenges listed in table 1:
Table 1: Challenges to sustainable outer island and rural water and sanitation systems in Kiribati (White, 2009).

  1. Lack of local community engagement in, ownership and maintenance of water and sanitation projects
  2. Uncertain statutory basis for managing and charging for water in outer islands
  3. Lack of recognition of the relationship between health and hygiene
  4. Limited applicability of developed world solutions
  5. Limited agency and local island capacity
  6. Failure to recognise and address connected water and land ownership issues
  7. Improved health and hygiene involves behavioural change, a long-term process
  8. Limited understanding of the unique and fragile nature of fresh groundwater in atolls
  9. Centralised bureaucracy and a very dispersed network of customers
  10. Conflicting and uncooperative agencies
  11. A lack of training and mentoring of island staff
  12. The large proportion of aid funds spent on external TA is viewed unfavourably

Overall, MPWU is faced with other challenges hampering the delivery of its essential services. 

Goal: Environmentally and Climate Change-Resilient Civil Infrastructures.

Objective 1: To improve access to quality infrastructure in the urban and rural areas.
Review Coastal Guideline with TA and other stakeholders; Improve Coastal Infrastructure Construction and Maintenance; Improve transport infrastructures including road and airfield; Improve heavy plants, tools and equipment; Incorporate appropriate Environmental Sustainable  Design (ESD) principles (engage TA); Innovate Building Construction methods and Maintenance; Improve plants and tools for building construction and maintenance; Implementation of robust maintenance and asset planning system; Increase awareness to the public on the importance of WatSan infrastructures; Improve data collection for rainfall on outer islands (work with other partners – MET; Expand and improve rainwater harvesting infrastructure at the community level; Expand and improve rainwater harvesting infrastructure at the community level.
Objective 2: To enhance local professional capacity in the infrastructure sector.
Objective 3: To reduce the overall cost of construction and improve the quality of construction works.
Objective 4: To enhance and increase the supply and access to power and appropriate energy.

Goal: Infrastructure to enhance adaptation capacity and community resilience against climate change.

Objective 5: Ensure climate change resilience for infrastructures.
Carry out preliminary studies on climate change impact to coastal areas and water reserves; Install water galleries in all inhabited islands; Develop and implement a Long-term Coastal Protection Programme; Integrate Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction in the National Building Code.
Objective 6: To ensure that MPWU employees in general obtain appropriate qualifications, skill levels and competencies.
Objective 7: To introduce appropriate types and levels of Information Systems for an efficient and effective work environment.
Objective 8: To adopt, put in place and enhance Assets Management and associated regulatory measures.
Objective 9: To enhance capacity and capability of the Ministry and its SOEs to develop and manage own projects.
Objective 10: To further enhance partnership and dialogue with Development Partners.

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