South Tarawa Water Supply Project

South Tarawa Water Supply Project

  • Status Under implementation
  • Date approved 20 Oct 2018 at B.21
  • Est. completion 07 Apr 2028
  • ESS Category Category B

Building a water secure future for the residents of Kiribati’s capital, South Tarawa.

Kiribati is one of the most remote and least developed countries in the world. It faces significant challenges due to its vulnerability to climate change. South Tarawa’s water supply is almost entirely dependent on underground freshwater lenses, the quality and quantity of which are seriously threatened by climate change-induced inundations and prolonged drought. Should such events occur simultaneously or in quick successions, they may reduce the lenses’ yield to zero for periods of up to five years. Given this, the lenses cannot be relied upon as the main source of water in a future with climate change.

This project aims to reduce the climate vulnerability of the entire population of South Tarawa through increased water security by providing them with a reliable, safe, and climate-resilient water supply. This will be done through the construction of a 4,000 m3 desalination plant and a photovoltaic system to provide low-emission power for the plant and the water supply network. With this project, the residents of South Tarawa will no longer need to boil drinking water, reducing emissions from burning fuel and firewood.

Total project value


Tonnes of emissions avoided






Result areas

Project timeline


23 Dec 2017 - 302 days

Concept note received

23 Dec 2017

Funding proposal received

26 Feb 2018

Cleared by iTAP

08 Jun 2018


20 Oct 2018 - 780 days

Approved by GCF Board

20 Oct 2018

Legal opinion on AE's Internal Approval

27 Sep 2019

FAA executed

21 Sep 2020

Under implementation

07 Dec 2020 - 1,269 days so far

FAA effective

07 Dec 2020

Disbursement - USD 8,969,697

18 Feb 2021

Disbursement - USD 9,450,941

19 Oct 2023

To be completed

07 Apr 2028 - 1,411 days to go

One region

  • Asia-Pacific

One country

Two priority groups

  • Least Developed Countries
  • Small Island Developing States
  • Financing
    • Private sector
    • Public sector
  • Size
    • Micro
    • Small
    • Medium
    • Large

GCF financing64% disbursed

GrantUSD 28,631,020
Total GCF Financing
USD 28,631,020


Co-FinancingGrantUSD 15,000,000
Co-FinancingGrantUSD 12,960,000
Co-FinancingGuaranteeUSD 1,490,000
Total Co-Financing
USD 29,450,000

GCF Contacts

General media inquiries

GCF Communications
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Request for information

GCF Information Disclosure
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Project complaints and grievances

GCF Independent Redress Mechanism (IRM)
Phone +82 32 458 6186 (KST)
File a complaint

Integrity issues

GCF Independent Integrity Unity (IIU)
Phone +82 32 458 6714 (KST)
Send e-mail

Accredited Entity

Asian Development Bank
Mr. Christian Ellermann

Senior Climate Change Specialist
More contacts

National Designated Authority

Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
Honourable Dr. Teuea Toatu Primary
P.O. Box 67, Bairiki, Tarawa, Kiribati, Tarawa, Kiribati
Phone +686 21806
Ms. Koin Uriam Kiritione Secondary
P.O. Box 67, Bairiki, Tarawa, Kiribati
Phone (+686) 75022755
Ms. Maaman Ioakim Secondary
Deputy Secretary
Ms. Ruth Itty Operational focal point
Director, Climate Finance Division