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Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations: Pilot Fragility Assessment of an Informal Urban Settlement in Kiribati

Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations: Pilot Fragility Assessment of an Informal Urban Settlement in Kiribati

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has piloted fragility assessments in selected urban settlements in the Pacific using a community-based approach and focusing on the impact of fragility on the delivery of basic services. The fragility assessment of South Tarawa in Kiribati explores patterns of fragility related to urban development including delivery of critical urban services with focus on water and sanitation services. Bairiki Village, an urban settlement in South Tarawa, was a case study for the assessment.

The assessment’s key objectives are to determine and better understand the patterns of fragility and resilience created by state–society relationships, as they relate to the delivery of urban services in South Tarawa, and to identify means of overcoming fragility to improve the quality of urban life in the community. The findings of this study, outlined below, should inform ADB’s urban development activities in Kiribati, including the South Tarawa Sanitation Improvement Sector Project, ensuring that a fragility-sensitive approach is adopted to achieve better development results.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has piloted fragility assessments in selected urban settlements in the Pacific using a community-based approach and focusing on the impact of fragility on the delivery of basic services. The fragility assessment of South Tarawa in Kiribati explores patterns of fragility related to urban development including delivery of critical urban services with focus on water and sanitation services. Bairiki Village, an urban settlement in South Tarawa, was a case study for the assessment.

The assessment’s key objectives are to determine and better understand the patterns of fragility and resilience created by state–society relationships, as they relate to the delivery of urban services in South Tarawa, and to identify means of overcoming fragility to improve the quality of urban life in the community. The findings of this study, outlined below, should inform ADB’s urban development activities in Kiribati, including the South Tarawa Sanitation Improvement Sector Project, ensuring that a fragility-sensitive approach is adopted to achieve better development results.

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Published by: Asian Development Bank on Oct 21, 2013
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January 2013
Pilot Fragility Assessment of anInformal Urban Settlement in Kiribati
Engagement in Fragile and Confict-Aected Situations
Te Asian Development Bank (ADB) has piloted ragility assessments in selected urban settlements in the Pacifcusing a community-based approach and ocusing onthe impact o ragility on the delivery o basic services.Te ragility assessment o South arawa in Kiribatiexplores patterns o ragility related to urban developmentincluding delivery o critical urban services with ocus on water and sanitation services. Bairiki Village, an urbansettlement in South arawa, was a case study or theassessment.Te assessment’s key objectives are to determine andbetter understand the patterns o ragility and resiliencecreated by state–society relationships, as they relate tothe delivery o urban services in South arawa, and toidentiy means o overcoming ragility to improve thequality o urban lie in the community. Te fndings o this study, outlined below, should inorm ADB’s urbandevelopment activities in Kiribati, including the Southarawa Sanitation Improvement Sector Project, ensuring that a ragility-sensitive approach is adopted to achievebetter development results.
The pilot fragility assessment in South Tarawa,Kiribati is part of the regional technical assistanceSupporting ADB’s Engagement in Fragile Situations.
1
 ADB urban development specialist Allison Woodruffand consultant Claire Anterea conducted the fragilityassessment, under the guidance of ADB’s focal pointfor fragile situations Patrick Safran. This publicationwas prepared with technical inputs from ADB principaleconomist Emma Veve and design and editorialinputs from consultant Cyrel San Gabriel. For moreinformation regarding ADB’s engagement in fragileand conflict-affected situations, visit www.adb.org/ fragile-situations.
1. ADB. 2009.
Technical Assistance on Supporting ADB’s Engagementin Fragile Situations
. Manila (TA 7269-REG).
Key Drivers of Fragility ........................................... 2Economy ............................................................ 2Environment ....................................................... 3Urban Service Delivery ........................................ 4Urban Land Use and Management ..................... 5Urban Social Networks ....................................... 6Mitigating Fragility ................................................ 7
 
Key Drivers of Fragility
ECONOMY
Kiribati’s economic growth potential isconstrained by very limited land area, geographicdispersion across 5,000 kilometers o ocean, andremoteness rom major markets resulting in hightransport costs and limited transport services.
 Almost hal o national income is derived romabroad, predominantly through fshing licenseees, remittances, oreign aid, and revenuerom the country’s trust und, the RevenueEqualization Reserve Fund.
Kiribati is highly vulnerable to economic shocksassociated with rising oil and ood prices, losso fsheries revenues, and the appreciation o the Australian dollar (A$), which is the legal tenderin Kiribati.
Private sector activity is low and economicopportunities are limited, leading to highunemployment rates, especially among the youth.
 Te public sector is dominant, with state-owned enterprises (SOEs) operating in mostsectors o Kiribati’s economy. SOEs, supportedby government subsidies and guaranteed loans,have largely ailed to provide essential goodsand services, such as reliable electricity and
 L A G O O
 P A C I F I C O C E A
Buariki Tebangaroi NuatabuTearinibai Taratai Eretibou
 Abaokoro
MarenanukaTaborio
Betio
Nanikai Bikeman
Bairiki
BanraeabaTeaoraeteke AbataoTabiteueaNabaeinaKainaba
Bonriki
Temaiku
Bikenibeu
EitaBotoa
N O R T HT A R A W AS O U T H T A R A W A
T A R A W A A T O L L
TARAWA
173 00'Eo173 00'Eo1 30'No1 30'No
Box 1 Surviving in a Subsistence Economy
Bairiki Village in South Tarawa is characterized by high levels of unemployment, with most households involvedin informal sector activities. Only a handful of households in the community are formally employed in the publicsector. The most common source of income is derived from fishing, with the men responsible for going out to fishwhile women sell the catch at roadside stalls. Households reported earning an average of A$200 every fortnightfrom fishing activities; however, incomes vary widely depending on the size of the catch.Households have little disposable income once paying for basic necessities and church contributions. Like otherPacific island communities, households in South Tarawa place priority upon contributing to the church. However,due to cultural sensitivity, it was not possible to collect data on the average size of household contributions.On the other hand, households reported that they can all afford to feed their families, and that they rarely faceshortages of cash to purchase food. While household plots are too cramped for households to have their owngardens, almost all households keep pigs. These are either consumed during celebrations or sold for cash whenneeded.
transport services. SOEs incur substantiallosses, oset by government transers, resultingin underinvestment in development andmaintenance o key inrastructures.
High rates o urbanization and limited economicopportunity have translated into high rates o poverty in South arawa, with almost a quarter o urban residents living below the poverty line.
 
Box 2 Lifestyle in an Overcrowded Environment
Overcrowded, and lacking adequate water and sanitation, BairikiVillage can be characterized as extremely environmentally fragile. Ofthe 51 households interviewed, only 2 have private toilet facilities. Themajority of the households openly defecate in the ocean, or on thebeach. This practice has become so widespread that there is little orno social stigma associated with defecating in the open. While opendefecation is illegal under the Environment Act, and laws against itduring colonial times were strictly enforced, there is no enforcementof these laws at present.Households recognize that open defecation is an unhealthypractice but claim that they have little or no other choice. While some households said that they could not affordto construct their own toilets and pay utility sewerage connection fees, the cramped living conditions in BairikiVillage show that there is simply not enough space between homes to construct individual household toiletfacilities. The ocean and beach are the preferred options since they can be used at no cost to the household.The majority of the households keep pigs next to their homes. This practice poses a major threat to publichealth, particularly through groundwater contamination. In addition to animal waste, solid waste managementis another challenge facing the community. Rubbish is routinely disposed of on the beach or in the ocean. Again,while households recognize this practice as being unsanitary, it is common because rubbish can be disposed of inthis manner free of charge. Although this practice is illegal under the Environment Act, the laws are not enforced.While the village council offers garbage collection services, households are reluctant to pay council fees for thisservice. Another option available in South Tarawa are “green bags” for waste collection, which can be purchasedfor A$0.20 per bag and put on the side of the road for collection as part of an externally funded solid wastemanagement project.The majority of homes within Bairiki Village are informally constructed using a variety of locally availablematerials. Housing conditions are poor, with a large number of people residing in cramped living conditions. Manypeople opt to sleep in the village
maneaba
(meeting hall) because of insufficient space within homes. There is noenforcement of existing building codes on land plots in Bairiki Village.
ENVIRONMENT
Consisting mostly o coral atolls, Kiribati ishighly vulnerable to hazards rom climatechange and natural events, including sea-levelrise and storm surge.
 Tere are periods o drought associated withEl Niño Southern Oscillation events. Limited water storage in small islands means thatdomestic water supplies are severely threatenedby these dry periods. Drought occurs in South arawa on average every 4 to 6 years.
 Te impacts o climate change, includingprolonged drought and saltwater intrusionassociated with sea-level rise, pose a threat tosustainable management o water resources inKiribati.
South arawa’s remaining water reserves arethreatened by contamination as a result o illegalsettlement and other inappropriate land uses,putting the urban piped water supply at risk.
Poor soils, scarcity o land, and low rainallmeans that there is a high level o dependenceon imported staple oods such as rice, our, andsugar, particularly in South arawa.

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