Outer Islands Food and Water Project
The Outer Islands Food and Water Project (OIFWP) began in September 2014 and operated in four outer islands of the southern Gilberts: Abebama, Beru, North Tabiteuea and Nonouti. Implemented by the Ministry of Land, Environment and Agricultural Development, the project improved household food security, nutrition and access to clean water for 11,275 people.
The US$ 10.4 million project aimed to strengthen outer island communities’ ability to identify challenges related to food, water and sanitation; and to plan and implement associated interventions.
The project’s strategy is to build self-reliance and social capital of supported communities by providing households with the means and the technical skills needed to plan and implement community development interventions, particularly in the areas of access to clean water and household food production. Through social and behavior change communication and nutrition education, the project addresses the low awareness of nutrition issues in the outer islands and positively influences the consumption of nutritious food. Rainwater harvesting for increased household water aims at securing access to a basic minimum quantity of clean drinking water to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases.
Founded on participatory formulation of Community Development Plan, the project emphasises participatory and inclusive planning and the formation of active community committees and water user groups. Women and youth groups on all four of the outer islands received training and support, ensuring their priorities were central in the 44 Community Agriculture and Water Development Plans supported by OIFWP.
The project’s participatory processes have ensured high levels of community ownership and stakeholder buy-in, that anchored the project’s capability to establish 234 rainwater harvesting systems and establish and improve 2,135 home gardens. Home gardening, cooking and nutrition classes have improved the quality of local diets, increasing the intake of of calories and nutrients derived from local fruits and vegetables. Support to poultry and egg production have improved access to sources of protein. Ninety percent of households have improved access to clean water, and report an 80 percent reduction of cases of diarrhoea and dysentery. The ready availability of vegetables in backyard gardens and a better water system have also reduced the workload of rural women.
Building on OIFWP’s successes, IFAD approved an additional IFAD financing of US$ 3.6 million, and mobilised US$ 810,000 financing from Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) for project scaling. OIFWP is now being scaled to 24 more villages in five other outer islands of the southern Gilberts. Programe delivery is being scaled up to reach an additional 1,700 households in Aororae, Nikunau, Onotoa, South Tabiteuea and Tamana, in home gardening; and 1,650 households in water harvesting activities. MAFRA’s support of US$810,000 focuses on promoting integrated farming systems, including improved composting techniques, agroforestry, use of nitrogen fixing trees and legumes, processing of virgin coconut oil (VCO) and cocosap sugar, and establishing a clean charcoal briquettes plant from coconut shells.
03 August 2014
2014 - 2023
Total Project Cost
US$ 10.37 million
US$ 6.6 million
National Government US$ 1.07 million
US$ 1.03 million