Progressive Report: Kiribati-Banaba Tour - April 2010

Banaba Rehabilitation Project

Report by RCL Chairman Bauro Vanulailai


Arrive Tuesday 27th of April 2010

·         At 1400hrs-taken to VIP lounge and got all of our baggage inspected

·         Kava paper was missing, left kava at airport, got out four bags (2kg) for Sevusevu to Beretitenti of Kiribati

·         Arrive at Otintai Hotel, hotel rooms fully booked

·         Meet up with MP Banaba Timon and Peter Crowley, RCL’s Adviser to the rehabilitation project

·         Use Peter’s room to change and left for Berentitenti’s Residence

·         Greeted with Beretitenti’s entourage. Arrangement with PS of the fisheries, tourism, mineral resources for discussions next day

·         Informal presentation of our intent and objective to the Beretitenti in regard to the rehabilitation project on Banaba

·         Good reception from the Kiribati government and a sense of establishing a good working relationship was also forged, a major historical alliance created that evening.

·         Left for the MP Timon’s house in Betio and rested for the day.

Wednesday 28th of April 2010

·         Had a meeting with the entire governmental permanent secretaries and a dialogue to begin the rehabilitation project got underway.

·         The goal of the meeting was threefold: 1, Establish relationship, 2. Find ways to collaborate and 3. Work within an agreeable framework that has win-win implications to RCL and Kiribati government.

·         RCL can also use existing financial modality within the Kiribati framework to secure its funding assistance.

·         The result of the meeting was twofold, 1. Get RCL to draft a letter of intent and 2, draft a project concept paper on rehabilitation and 3. Submit full consensus of the Banaban People on the rehabilitation project.               

·         Another milestone was reached, whereby a project document on establishing a cannery factory on Rabi by the Kiribati government seems very positive.

·         In the evening a reception was held where the Minister of Fisheries and Mineral resources was present.


Thursday 29th of April, 2010

·         Secure Meeting with government officials and embassies

·         Inspect RCL proposed office space to be opened on Betio as main logistics and headquarters for RCL and MP Banaba as rehabilitation project begins to gather dusts.

·         Peter booked at Lagoon Reef hotel since the location is closer to main administrative center

·         Project paper discussion in regard to the project paper concept with Peter

·         Return to MP Timon’s house to rest for the day


Friday 30th of April, 2010

·         Public Holiday, spent meeting with Banabans on Tarawa to get their consensus on rehabilitation

·         MP Timon announces through Radio an urgent meeting scheduled for Saturday at 1.00pm with Banabans on Tarawa

·         Chairman Paulo booked at Lagoon Reef, to discuss drafting of concept paper and request letter and an MOU

·         Peter drafted the concept paper and Paulo went through the paper

·         Minor inclusion and amendment  made and final draft prepared

·         Completion of Final Draft Concept paper by Peter

·         Draft of an MOU and Letter of intent are still in draft form


Saturday 1st of May, 2010

·         Discussion with MP Timon, along with Peter, Ken and Paulo at Lagoon Reef Hotel to disclose RCL plans to MP Timon

·         Objective is to disclose all RCL plans to rehabilitate Banaba and to consolidate MP Timon’s post with RCL if the rehabilitation project is to be successful.

·         MP Timon’s post is very important to the success of the rehabilitation project and RCL is eager to use this as a platform to greater economic and political ties with the Kiribati government

·         The rest of the afternoon was the Meeting between with RCL and Banabans on Tarawa and the objective is ask for their referendum on the rehabilitation project

·         In the end the meeting was successful, almost everyone agreed to the idea of the rehabilitation and a consensus was reached to back up the consensus on Rabi  Island

·         Another meeting was convened with the former PS for Berentitenti, Betarim invited the RCL rehabilitation team for a dinner also at him home.

·         Discussion on opening up greater ties with the Kiribati private sector especially with exporting agricultural produce from Rabi to Tarawa seems a viable economic opportunity


Sunday the 2nd of May, 2010

·         A quiet day for rest and reflection

·         Discussion with Peter ongoing


Monday the 3rd of May, 2010

·         Preparation of Banaban Trip

·         Awaiting Minutes of the Meeting from Fisheries and Marine Resources


Tuesday the 4th of May, 2010

·         Trip to Banaba

Wednesday fifth of May, 2010

·         Enroute to Banaba on boat

·         Discuss with Banaban people on board the boat in regard to the rehabilitation


Thursday the sixth of May, 2010

·         Arrived on Ocean Island

·         Meet with the RCL Management-Island Manager at 10.00am

·         Meet with RCL workers to discuss issues on Ocean island at 12.00noon

·         Meet with Banaban people at the Maneaba on Ocean Island

·         Meet with Island Manager residence-handover of letter of resignation

·         Meet with BIC members to discuss issues on land leases on Ocean island for airport and school


Friday the 7th –Monday 10th of May, 2010

·         Return to Tarawa by boat

·         Re-confirmed Ken’s return Air ticket to Australia by Wednesday

·         Check Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Department for minutes of meeting

·         Invited to Naewantebure’s family house for dinner


Tuesday 11th of May, 2010

·         Check Location of RCL and Banaban Limited Office at Betio

·         Re-confirmed Councillor’s return Air ticket to Fiji by Thursday

·         Printing of Banaban Concept paper to be given to Ministry  of Fisheries and Marine Resources

·         Invited to Dinner by the Minister for Labour


Wednesday 12th of May, 2010

·         Ken departs for Australia

·         Manate briefly meets with Seventh Day Adventist Churchs

·         Bauro prints out letter and proposed concept paper for rehabilitation


Thursday 13th of May, 2010

·         Chairman and Cr. Manate leaves for Fiji



Summary of trip outcome


The trip was a successful as many of the major pending issues in regard to rehabilitation project were achieved such as the following:

·          Warm reception from the office of the Beretitenti was accorded to the rehabilitation tewiam

·         Meeting with the relevant stakeholders in government was successful

·         Minutes of the meeting was drafted but awaits review and assessment from relevant Permanent Secretaries