5 February 2018
Nauru is a country
in Micronesia, northeast of Australia. The smallest independent country, which
is so tiny that you need less than an hour to drive around it. Control of Nauru
passed from Germany to Australia to Japan before the country declared its
independence in 1968. Nauru has a fascinating background. It has been told in
1980, the little island was considered one of the wealthiest nation on the
planet (Gordon). But in 2017, BusinessTech listed Nauru as one of the 5 poorest
country in the World (Gordon).
Believe it or not, Nauru became wealthy in the 1980s by
selling fossilized bird excrement. Local seagull population would use the
little country as a bathroom stop (Gordon). After the years pass, the seagull’s
excrement hardened, and it left the land rich with phosphates, which companies
use to produce fertilizer and other merchandises. In 1975, the country earned
equivalent of $2.5 billion!
Nauru’s climate is tropical. During the daytime,
temperature is in the lows of 80s F. Rainfall averaging 80inchs annually, which
droughts do occur. There are no rivers or streams located in Nauru (Foster,
Kiste). The only locally available water is collected from roof catchment
systems, and water is imported as weight on ships returning to Nauru for loads
of phosphate. The roof catchment systems channel rainwater that falls onto a
roof into storage through a system of gutters and pipes. For food, subsistence
crops consist mainly of coconut palms, bananas, pineapple, and some vegetables.
But as time pass, the continuous phosphate mining left the island unsuitable for
farming, so inhabitants consume only imported food, which usually came in a can.
There was an absence of mammals until rats, cats, dogs, and pigs were imported.
The people of Nauru are indigenous Nauruan. There are
small numbers of Gilbertese, Australians, New Zealanders, Chinese, and
Tuvaluans. Nauruan is the national language. English is widely spoken. Nauru is
considered one of the most Westernized countries in the South Pacific. The
first Protestant arrived in 1899 and no more than half the total population of
Nauruan are Christians. One-third is Roman Catholic. Nauru is uncrowded-its
population is just over 10,000. High
levels of type 2 diabetes and kidney and heart disease are significant health
challenges for the population of Nauru.
Basic services in education and health are provided free
to all citizens, though services have been reduced because of the country’s
changing economic fortunes. There is no government social security system.
Education is between ages 6 and 16.
The government provides several kindergartens and elementary and
secondary schools. The Roman Catholic mission has its own school system at the
same three levels. But mostly, students have gone abroad, mainly to Australia,
for higher education.
Nauru had refugees’ camps, but in 2007, the camp shut down
due to overcrowding and a lack available water sources. Australia spent
billions redeveloping the camps. The facility reopened in 2012, but included
new rules. The refugees were not allowed to leave the camps, work, or mingle
with local community. They were not allowed to travel anywhere, which cause the
lack of freedom and caused many of the detainees to become depressed and
suicidal. The Australian and Nauruan governments have kept the injustices
perpetrated against these refugees quiet by limiting access to the island. They
had unsanitary rules such as taking pictures inside the detention center is
forbidden. No carrying a smart phone with a camera. It got even worst when
Australia passed the Australian Border Force Act, which speaking out about the
conditions inside the camps will sentence to two-year in prison. But as time
passed by, word got out. There were over 2,000 leaked incident reports from Nauru’s
detention center in an effort to provide photograph into the way these processing
centers treat detainees. As most people
can see as one of the littlest wealthiest country is now a dumpster.