Kiribati

Anote Tong says cutting emissions won't save Kiribati

Mr Tong is visiting New Zealand to promote a film called Anote's Ark which portrays the frightening climate change reality that his people face.

He said even if the most ambitious targets for reducing global carbon emissions are met Kiribati and other islands like Tuvalu and Tokelau could still be swamped by the sea.

MV Butiraoi did not comply with own safety plan

The Pacific Community's ship safety audit adviser Omirete Tabureka said the MV Butiraoi had been using a safety management system introduced with the Pacific Islands Domestic Ship Safety Programme in 2010.

The system uses safety operational plans, known as SOPs, which provide a set of requirements for a vessel's operation, including the minimum number of life-vests and life-boats, VHF radio and electronic locator beacons.

Mr Tabureka said the Butiraoi was due for a safety audit last year but it was apparent its SOP was no longer in use.

Kiribati reports highest number of HIV cases in study

The People Living with HIV Stigma Index Study has recorded a total of 28 people from Kiribati with HIV.

The other Pacific nations in the study are the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and Palau.

Regional co-ordinator of the study, Jokapeci Tuberi Cati, said out of the 28 cases in Kiribati, only five people were interviewed and monitored taking their anti-retroviral treatment.

Kiribati announces Commission of Inquiry into ferry tragedy

The nation is in three days of mourning for those thought to have perished at sea after the ferry left on a journey from the island of Nonouti to the capital Tarawa three weeks ago.

President Taneti Maamau declared a public holiday "as a solemn day of remembrance and to honour those who have lost their lives in this tragedy."

The official mourning period started yesterday.

The Kiribati government said the inquiry would carry out "fact-finding missions" and "comprehensive investigations".

Help sent for people traumatised by Kiribati ferry disaster

An aerial search for the catamaran has been called off and least 80 people remain missing, many of them children.

Kiribati is said to be traumatised by the event and UNICEF and the World Health Organisation say they're working to support the government in the emergency medical response.

They're providing medical supplies and training and the WHO is deploying extra emergency staff.

UNICEF says it’s working to support schools, families and communities to deal with the tragedy and get back to a normal routine.

Kiribati suspends aerial search for sunken ferry passengers

Maritime New Zealand this morning confirmed the directive which came through the Rescue Coordination Centre in Nadi in Fiji.

Maritime New Zealand's Vince Cholewa says authorities in Kiribati say they will be continuing with several vessels involved in their ocean search.

Mr Cholewa says they will be focusing on the area around where the MV Butiraoi is believed to have gone down with around 88 men, women and children on board.

He says they will also be tracking back along the route the catamaran is believed to have taken from its last port of call at Nonouti Island.

Kiribati ferry was ordered not to carry people

About 80 people are missing, although the government hasn't confirmed the exact number. A New Zealand military plane using radar found a small wooden dinghy on Sunday that was carrying seven survivors who told rescuers the ferry sank.

Kiribati, which has about 108,000 people, declared a week of prayer as the search for more survivors continued. The U.S. and Australia have joined New Zealand in the search, as have several fishing boats in the area.

Kiribati confirm more than 80 were on board sunken ferry

The Kiribati government is being heavily criticised by the public for failing to report the boat missing a week after it was scheduled to arrive in the capital Tarawa from the island of Nonouti.

For the last four days a New Zealand P3 Orion has been searching an area of ocean larger than 300,000 square kilometres.

Seven survivors were rescued on January 28 and the search continues for a life raft that was launched from the sinking ferry.

National week of prayer after tragic Kiribati ferry loss

In his address aired nationwide on the national radio, Radio Kiribati, President Maamau called on all churches and their members to join together in prayer for those who have lost their lives and their families.

“Based on this incident and unconfirmed reports, the Government has declared this week as the national week of prayer to help our fellow citizens who have been caught up in this tragic ordeal and all their families,” said President Maamau.

“The Government is requesting all Churches and their members including all the people of Kiribati to join hands in prayer”.

Three missing Kiribati fishermen found

The New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre said the men were lucky their family raised the alarm quickly when they did not return home as planned over the weekend.

Search and Rescue Officer Chris Wilson says the boat the men were in did not have a motor but did have a sail which took them in an unexpected direction.