Bwaraam Tominiko, a graduate of Kiribati Institute of Technology’s (KIT) Certificate II in Construction Pathways and member of the Business Incubator Group, is working on the handwashing station project in Tarawa.
The project, which began in July 2020, is funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and managed by ChildFund Kiribati.
Its main aim is to enable local communities to access handwashing stations at their gathering halls (known as Maneaba). Bwaraam was appointed by his coordinator from the Business Inclubator Group to take on the job. He will be assisted by three of KIT's bridging program graduates.
Each handwash basin is made from recycled materials sourced from Kiribati. Materials include the repurposing of forty-four gallon drums which have been thoroughly cleaned, sealed and painted, as well as lumber (timber) and plumbing parts.
“There are 14 communities in Betio, and four of them have got their handwashing stations so far. When we installed the stations at their Maneaba, they were so happy and thankful. Their youth assisted us with the installation and I did get a chance to give them a few plumbing tips in case the stations jammed – they should know how to fix it themselves," Bwaraam said
Bwaraam mentioned that the task gives him a chance to share his skills with the local youth, and also builds his confidence in leading a small group of workers. He is looking forward to leading a bigger project in the future. The three Bridging graduates who are joining Bwaraam on this task are constructing an average number of three stations a day.
The handwash basins raise important community awareness around disease prevention, including for COVID-19.
This youth-led project demonstrates the types of training and employment opportunities that KIT has developed through key partnerships, as well as a broader community engagement approach towards sustainable project outcomes.