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