Economic Costs of Inadequate Water and Sanitation: South Tarawa, Kiribati

The inadequate water supply and sanitation situation in Kiribati’s main urban center, South Tarawa, has contributed to high rates of water-borne diseases and environmental degradation in Bairiki, Betio and Bikenibeu towns and surrounding areas.

There has been limited capital investment in water supply and sanitation infrastructure and ongoing operations and maintenance South Tarawa, in part, as a result of low cost recovery in service delivery.

To enable more informed policy responses to address the current situation, this study seeks to estimate the total economic costs associated with inadequate water and sanitation services Kiribati’s main urban center.


If appropriate action is not taken now to address the current risks associated with inadequate water and sanitation, the hidden costs are expected to grow due to

Urgent actions are needed to address current and changing risks of water and vector-borne diseases. There are both private and public dimensions to the challenge, and a multipronged approach is needed to reduce the economic costs of inadequate water and sanitation facilities and practices. It includes the following measures:

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Analysis of the Water Supply and Sanitation Situation in South Tarawa
  • Impacts of Poor Water and Sanitation
  • Economic Costs of Inadequate Water and Sanitation
  • Reducing Economic Burden of Poor Water and Sanitation
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Annexes

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