End of the Borrow Pits

  • 14 April 2015

The “borrow pits” were created during World War Two when the American military “borrowed” earth from several sites around Fongafale Island to construct the Funafuti Atoll runway.  These are now filled with stagnant looking water and rubbish, and cause an environmental gash and sanitation problem.  The good news it that they are now up for remediation.

The plan is to fill the borrow pits with dredging from the lagoon.  Their removal will improve sanitation, improve conditions for local residents, and provide a little more precious land available for more productive purposes.  The project will be undertaken by New Zealand aid at a reported cost of $10 million.

When I visited, one of the larger borrow pits looked like this:

Houses around the borrow pits, Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu.

Houses around the borrow pits, Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu

Borrow pits, Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu. (Earth was 'borrowed' during WW2 times for landfill to build the runway.)

It will be a major step when the borrow pits are filled, and one less environmental problem which Tuvalu didn’t need.  The borrow pits and other environmental issues are the subject of the photo gallery here.

Tuvalu to benefit from international dredging aid

Published: Comments: This is an archived copy of an article. It is online for informational purposes only. Sunshine Coast-based dredging, civil contracting and marine civil company Hall Contracting is set to greatly improve the living standards of communities in the remote Polynesian nation of Tuvalu, with the company preparing to undertake dredging works valued at more than $7 million as part of the New Zealand Aid Programme.


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