HONOLULU—The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Juniper crew provided assistance to Kiritimati Island, Kiribati, by offloading potable water and supplies last July 19, 2022, following their extreme drought.
In a unified effort with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, the U.S. Coast Guard provided much needed assistance by supplying over 4,000 gallons of safe drinking water, 200 buckets with lids, 600 10-liter water containers, and two 10,000-liter water bladders.
“We are honored to be given the opportunity to assist in the effort being made to help the people of Kiribati,” said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Bonner, the Juniper’s commanding officer. “This mission to provide safe drinking water and supplies to Kiritimati Island was made possible by the timely coordination conducted by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, and the Kiribati government.”
While maintaining strict COVID-19 precautions, the crew of the Juniper conducted multiple offloads of water and supplies while working with UNICEF representatives to support the local residents.
“On behalf of UNICEF Pacific, let me again express our gratitude to the USCG and USAID for your support with the drought relief efforts in Kiribati,” said Nick Rice Chudeau, chief of UNICEF Kiribati. “We deeply value our partnership in the country for the benefit of all I-Kiribati children and their families.”
In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, the Juniper crew supported Kiribati maritime law enforcement efforts during Operation Blue Pacific, providing patrol coverage in Kiribati’s exclusive economic zone in the effort to deter illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, strengthen maritime governance in Oceania, and support Kiribati resource security.
“This mission is a great example of the Coast Guard’s commitment to being a partner in the Blue Pacific and helping respond to a climate crisis,” said Rear Adm. Michael Day, the 14th Coast Guard district commander. “We are proud to work alongside USAID and UNICEF to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Kiribati. The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to partner with Pacific island countries building climate resilience in the region.”
The Coast Guard cutter Juniper is a unique platform with capabilities to conduct a wide array of Coast Guard missions including maintaining aids to navigation and law enforcement. The 225-foot sea-going buoy tender can reach speeds of 16-knots and is able to cover a distance of 6,000 nautical miles before needing to re-fuel, greatly increasing its interoperability with regional partners in Districts 14’s vast area of operation. (USCG)