600 – 700 people live in Nanumea
The total area of Nanumea is 3.87 square kilometers, and approximately 10 kilometers long by 1.5 kilometers at its maximum width.
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose:
Coastal and marine fisheries resources are the major source of daily protein diet.
Local threats to resources:
Leaching and contamination from the remains of World War 2 wrecked cargo ships, navy bombers and other military machines into the fresh water ponds. Land and water pollution, coastal erosion, destructive fishing and overfishing and global climate change
Level of exposure to these hazards:
Level of sensitivity:
The atoll islands of Tuvalu have an average elevation of not more than 3m above mean sea level making the nation highly susceptible to global climate change. Grave concerns are being raised nationally, internationally and globally regarding the adverse impact of global warming particularly that of climate change and rising sea level rise on the survival and livelihood of the Tuvalu people. Tuvalu is destined to become one of earth's first nations to be washed away due to the effect of global warming, making the Tuvaluans the first complete nation of climate change refugees, banned from their home-islands, their culture, natural resources and striped off their identity.
Level of adaptive capacity:
Fair Although the threat of climate change is very severe because of limited resources and being a low laying nation, the direct social and traditional ties and attachment of the people to their natural resources and livelihoods offer substantial opportunity for climate change adaption. The community of Nanumea, like other Tuvaluans, is continuously finding ways to adapt to climate change impacts and build resilience capacity against Tuvalu’s climate change dilemma. Nanumea is a deeply Christian community, where people culture, and tradition are intrinsic to their problems and solutions to their daily lives hence the social cohesion and community attachment is very strong. They are skillful island dwellers and sea fearers. They make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls. Over decades they have been fighting climate change impacts. These are the major social and human resource strengths; on the other hand weak institutional, natural and economic resources compound them. Nanumea has a functioning island council (local government institution) though its adequate public service delivery is challenged by its geography from the central government based in the Funfatui atoll, capital of Tuvalu. Nanumea community generally relies on the daily catch from the lagoon and sea and a limited supply of root crops and coconuts. Rainwater is the only source of drinking water and families with less cash face problems accessing drinking water during drought periods from community water storage tanks. Groundwater is the only other water source for this community; however, pollution by saltwater intrusion and waste leachate has made groundwater no longer suitable for human consumption. Most families’ financial assistance and cash flow is supported mainly from wages sent home by community seafarers working abroad (mostly workers in the phosphate industry and shipping and cargo services).