South Tarawa Water Supply Project

South Tarawa Water Supply Project

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Project Description

The South Tarawa Water Supply Project (STWSP) will combat factors that result in the high incidence of waterborne disease in South Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati, through the delivery and effective management of new and rehabilitated climate-resilient water supply assets and improved hygiene practices. The impact of the project is aligned with the improved health and climate change resilience of South Tarawa’s population.  The main outcome of the project will be increased access to safe, climate-resilient water supplies.

The STWSP has an estimated total budget of approximately US$63.87 million and is co-financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank (WB) and Government of Kiribati (GoK).  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED) is the government’s executing agency and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy (MISE) is the implementing agency for the STWSP.  Public Utilities Board (PUB) is a key stakeholder and ultimate operator of the new infrastructure.

The main outputs of the project are:

Output 1: Climate resilient and low carbon water supply infrastructureThis will be achieved through construction of two Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants with energy consumption offset by solar PV, and rehabilitation of the water supply network to address leakages, and 100% metered household connections to piped water supplies. 

Output 2: Capacity of MISE and PUB to effectively manage water supply infrastructure increased. This will be delivered through 4.5-year operation and maintenance contracts for the desalination plant and water supply network, as well as specialist support to PUB in key result areas and vocational training.

Output 3: Awareness on WASH and climate change issues is raisedThis will be achieved through the implementation of a comprehensive and intensive 5-year WASH and climate change awareness program with strong involvement of local civil society organizations. 

Output 4: Project implementation is managed efficiently and effectively. This will be achieved through support to the government’s Project Management Unit (PMU).

Supplementary Outputs (World Bank IDA Financed): (a) Sustainable management of the Buota & Bonriki water reserves and sector strengthening and (b) Sanitation pilot focussing on the three KAP-III village pilots (Nanikai, Tebikenikoora/Eita and Tanaea) where 24/7 water supply has been introduced early 2018 and the objective is to identify the most appropriate sanitation option/s and implementation program for roll-out of sanitation services across South Tarawa.    .

The main goods and works to be procured under this project are

GDW-1: Two borefields with two new reverse osmosis desalination plants will be constructed, one at Temakin, Betio and one at Mckenzie, Bikenibeu to increase drinking water production capacity by 6000 m3/day.  The works include a design-build-operate contract with an operation service period of 4.5 years. 

GDW-2:new water supply network infrastructure will be constructed to minimise leakage losses.  All households will receive a metered connection to the water supply network including a standpipe to ensure equitable access to safe and reliable drinking water services.  Institutional strengthening, capacity building and long-term performance-based contracts for operation of the new infrastructure by PUB.

GDW-3Energy requirements for operation of the new desalination plants and networks will be offset by a new 2.5 megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) array to be installed on the Bonriki Water Reserve. 

STWSP Safeguards

The purpose of the safeguards is to ensure all adverse environmental and social impacts of the project are avoided, minimized or mitigated including protecting the rights of those likely to be affected or marginalized by the development process. STWSP safeguards are based on the principles of ADB and WB; ADB’s Safeguard Policy Statement (SPS) 2009, World Bank Environment and Social Safeguards Policies (Operational/Bank Policies (O.P/BP) and national or country safeguards system (CSS). 

Environmental and Social Impacts Assessments (ESIA): The project is classified as category B for Environment under ADB SPS 2009. There were 3 separate ESIAs developed for Solar PV, Desalination and Water Network components of this project. The ESIA documents contain the policy and legal framework, details of the proposed project component, baseline environmental and social data, potential environmental and social impacts of the project and their mitigation measures. They also introduce the environmental management measures, environmental and social management plans (ESMP) and the roles of the contractors and other actors in environmental management. Click Here to view all ESIA reports including leaflets in local language. 

Resettlement Plan (RP): The project is classified as category B for involuntary resettlement and category C for indigenous peoples under ADB SPS 2009. The proposed water supply infrastructure will not have significant involuntary resettlement impacts, with impacts confined to minor land acquisition/lease and some affected assets such as crops and treesThree RPs are being prepared for each of the three main components. Kiribati translations of the Executive Summary for each RP are also available. Click Here to view all RPs.  

Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM): A GRM is a set of arrangements that enable local communities, employees, and other affected stakeholders to raise grievances with the project team and seek redress when they perceive a negative impact arising from the project’s activities. The STWSP GRM is in place to address contentious issues, complaints or disputes that arise during the period of its implementation, as part of a necessary project/program safeguards systems. Click here to download.

Any person who wish to seek redress to their grievances will need to fill out a GRM Registering and Monitoring Form via methods listed below. The Project Safeguards Manager will be available to assist. 

  • Visit STWSP Office (Previously known as McDowell Building, MISE Civil Yard, Betio). Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
  • Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Call to +686 730 33 111 


STWSP News, Public Awareness and Information Disclosure

As part of awareness raising for STWSP, relevant information and publication will be shared to public through media outlets and a newsletter to be issued once every six months. For further details, click here.

Tenders: For information on current tenders, please Click Here for GoK's Tenderlink portal.

Contract Award Notices: Please Click Here for details of contract and award notices to winning contractors.

Contact Us:

Project Manager Joshua. Chappelow M+686 730 48301    E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Deputy Project Manager Ioataake Timeon E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Safeguards Manager Taobiina Batiata Birati E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Contract Award GDW-1 Two Bore fields and Two Desalination Plants

GRM Registering and Monitoring Form

Solar PV Plant ESIA

Solar PV Resettlement Plan

Desalination Plants ESIA Vol 1 Main Text

Desalination Plants ESIA Vol 2 Appendices

Upgrading Water Supply Network ESIA

Desalination and Network ESIA Leaflets Kiribati

Grievance Redress Mechanism

Initial Environment Examination STREP 


and more...