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).
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.
Increase overseas and local work attachments and training opportunities for infrastructure professional staff; Engage international experts (or local TAs) to build local professional capacity; Increase enrolments of staff at local technical colleges (KIT, USP, etc.).
Objective 3: To reduce the overall cost of construction and improve the quality of construction works.
Direct order of materials and equipment from overseas suppliers (for projects);Affordable and sustainable design for certain building classes in their appropriate context; Continue to increase private sector engagement in construction and maintenance works (through bidding and tendering) for competitive prices and quality.
Objective 4: To enhance and increase the supply and access to power and appropriate energy.
Increase fuel storage capacity; Expand use of Renewable Energy; Adopt strategies for Energy efficiency measures (including transport as a major energy consuming sector); Review and improve energy supply and demand management system; Improve energy sector in Kiribati.
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.
Allocate training funds based on properly formulated priorities; Pursue work attachments with local and overseas projects/employers; Increase enrolments with local technical institutes/colleges.
Objective 7: To introduce appropriate types and levels of Information Systems for an efficient and effective work environment.
Upgrade desktop and laptop hardware and support; Regularly update Operating System (OS) and applications software to curb threats from computer viruses and other malware;Build, maintain and manage a Ministry Website; Manage and backup MPWU data; Provide an in-house training in new hardware and software packages.
Objective 8: To adopt, put in place and enhance Assets Management and associated regulatory measures.
Install control systems to minimise or prevent misuse and abuse of MPWU properties; Control Internet bandwidth and filter Internet access; Pursue training in Internal Control over Assets – Cash and Stock/Inventory; Promote awareness of relevant regulations and laws such asFinancial Regulations, Procurement Act, Building Code, Building Act, Nippon Causeway Special Fund Act, National Conditions of Service (NCS), and all related legislation.
Objective 9: To enhance capacity and capability of the Ministry and its SOEs to develop and manage own projects.
Provide advanced training in Project Management for project officers of MPWU and its SOEs; Develop an integrated and comprehensive project database system and promote its use across the Ministry and its SOEs.
Objective 10: To further enhance partnership and dialogue with Development Partners.
Develop a Joint Sector Implementation Plan through annual or biennial Ministry Development Coordination and Partnership Committee forums/meetings with Development Partners.