News - Feb 27, 2023 Progressing Asbestos Removal on Banaba Island
Banaba is a small island in Kiribati but with a big problem. Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are a major issue for many Pacific Island countries, with a history of use of ACM in housing construction, of which, Banaba Island is one.
In late May 2022, staff from the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development, Environment and Conservation Division (ECD) conducted an asbestos assessment of three buildings in Banaba. The findings from this work estimated a total of 4,527m2 of potential ACM was present in just those three buildings alone.
To assist the Kiribati Government with the removal of asbestos containing materials and creating a safer environment on Banaba the programme released a tender and has held a pre-bid meeting with interested Contractors centered on the removal of asbestos containing materials from the island. This meeting enabled potential contractors to better understand the expected scope of works and allowed for general clarifications with the programme team.
The pre-bid meeting was attended by PacWastePlus technical staff as well as representatives from the Kiribati Government’s Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development, Environment and Conservation Division (ECD) regulators and local Kiribati private party experts on construction, transport and disposal of materials.
This pilot scale project, under tender, will include the removal of ACM from three structures on Banaba, documentation of this work as a case study for future abatement work, and the development of a long-term strategy to address remaining asbestos on the island.
The programme will continue to engage with project stakeholders to remove the ACM and continue to assist Kiribati to work towards the endorsement of an asbestos ban so that asbestos will no longer be imported into the country.