Precious LIFE is in the balance
Some extended families have lost as many as 6 babies!
The tiny island nation of Kiribati (pronounced Kiri-bas) has a land area a quarter the size of Sydney city, it’s population of 103,000 people is scattered over 33 islands across the Pacific Equator.
Almost half of the population lives on South Tarawa, an area of only 16 square kilometres. The town of Betio which is 1.45 sq km has a population density of 8,627 people per sq km, which exceeds even that of Tokyo!
Kiribati has the highest infant mortality rate in the western Pacific, where 1 in 20 babies die of malnutrition and chronic diarrhoea, caused by water-borne and faeces-related illnesses.
The largest island, Tarawa Atoll, uses water from a water lens, the shallow underground bubble in which fresh water gathers when rain seeps through the ground.
In-ground toilet pits leach effluent into the water lens. There is always a real possibility of disease due to this contamination.