Over 100,000 people are on the brink of being swallowed by the sea
Over 100,000 people are in danger of being swallowed
When we swallow food down the mouth, the food goes down our stomach and is seen no more. In like manner, if a place like Kiribati is swallowed by the sea, it will go down under water and will not be seen anymore. It will no longer be a part of the map. All of its living things will perish. Can you see the danger?
Location and climate of Kiribati
Kiribati, pronounced as Kiribas is composed of several islands of varying shapes and sizes. It is located at the point where the equator meets the international date line in the central pacific ocean. It lies in a band of weather known as doldrums, and thus enjoys a calm, warm and humid climate.
Facts about the Republic of Kiribati
- Formerly Gilbert Islands or Gilberts, it works for its independence and was granted on July 12, 1979 by the United Kingdom.
- Here's an article re its 33rd anniversary (July 12, 2012) celebration.
- It carries the name Republic of Kiribati, with a combined total land area of 328 square miles, bigger by 25 square miles than the size of New York City.
- Kiribati’s land area is spread in 32 atolls and 1 raised island (33 islands all in all).
- The Phoenix islands are uninhabited.
- Almost 50% of the 103,100 residents live in the capital of Tarawa.
- Others live in the Gilbert islands.
- The Republic of Kiribati has a unicameral parliament with 46 members.
- Its president is both head of government and head of state.
- He appoints his/her own Cabinet, comprising of a Vice President, Attorney-General and no more than ten ministers.
- Mr.Anote Tong was re-elected for a third term as President. He has been in office since 2003. This will be his last
- Kiribati relies heavily on license fees from distant water fishing nations and
- remittances from Kiribati citizens employed abroad, mainly as seafarers.
- Another major resource is the Revenue Equalization Reserve Fund (RERF),which stores earnings from phosphate mining in Banaba.
- The RERF was established in 1956 by the British administration
Other means of livelihood
I-kiribati do small-scale industries, like planting and cultivating taro, harvesting coconuts and pandanus, weaving mats, hats, etc
These people are blessed by God. They have all the sunshines and the fresh balmy air which are vital for healthful living. The peace and quiet which people missed and longed for in crowded metropolis are at their fingertips. They raised coconuts and fruits for food and for sale. They’ve abundant fish and other edible marine life around the island. They’re thankful to the Almighty for almost providing them everything.
- However, hardy people they maybe, they’re in constant fear of their lives.
- Dangers are ever present.
- Earthquakes, especially tsunamis are a threat.
- Kiribati is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and rising sea levels.
- The islands average elevation is less than two meters above sea level.
Plan of Resettlement
- Cognizant of these meteorological problems, Pres. Anote Tong and his officials hatch a plan to relocate their populace to the neighboring island of Fiji.
- They are aware that climate change and rising sea levels will swallow their homes one day.
- Their going down the ocean is inevitable.
- According to the Associated Press, Kiribati President Anote Tong said on Friday that his cabinet has endorsed a plan to buy a piece of land in Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island. Measuring nearly 6,000 acres, the fertlle land could accommodate Kiribati’s entire population of 103,100.
- Sold by a church group, the lot costs $9.6 million.
Plan of Implementation
Tong hopes not to put everyone on one piece of land nor necessary for everyone to leave their homeland, but if things come to worst, yes, they could do it, he said. For them, moving won’t be a matter of choice. Basically, it would be a matter of survival.
Tong said some villages have already moved. Sea water comes so often contaminating Kiribati’s underground fresh water, undermining the island’s supply for personal needs, trees and crops.
Pres. Tong disclosed changing rainfall, tidal and storm patterns and ocean levels pose a threat to their survival.
More vital data
- Some scientists have placed the current level of sea rise in the Pacific at about 2 millimeters (0.1 inches) per year.
- Many scientists expect that rate to accelerate due to climate change.
- Fiji, home to about 854,000 people, is about 1,400 miles south of Kiribati.
- To provide a home to thousands of their neighbors is an issue which is yet unclear to the Fijians.
- Meanwhile President Tong expects the parliamentary approval for the land purchase to be finished in April, before discussing the plan formally with Fijian officials.
Facts and Figures
Official Name Republic of Kiribati
Capital City South Tarawa
Languages I-Kiribati, English (official)
Official Currency Australian Dollar
Religions Catholic-52%, Protestant-40% others
Land Area 849 sq km (328 sq miles)
Latitude/Longitude 1� 33N, 172� 99E
Highest Point 266 ft. (81 m)
Source: The Extinction Protocol