Funds for sea wall on Ejit and health clinic on Kili to help protect and save lives
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has awarded $1,107,654 in fiscal year 2020 grant funding to the Republic of the Marshall Islands through the OIA Technical Assistance Program.
This funding will support the Kili-Bikini-Ejit local government’s efforts to build a sea wall on Ejit Island, Majuro Atoll, and provide equipment and supplies for the health clinic on Kili Island.
Of the total amount awarded, $682,654 will be used to build a 2,300-foot reinforced concrete sea wall along the coastline of low-lying Ejit Island, which is part of Majuro Atoll.
The sea wall will protect more than 300 people of Bikini who live on Ejit Island and whose community includes a school, a church, a community center, residential housing, and family graves. Much of the coastline and the infrastructure has already experienced degradation, erosion, and flooding due to extreme weather events, of which the most recent occurred in November 2019.
The proposed sea wall will be similar to other sea walls currently in use elsewhere in Majuro Atoll and on Ebeye Island, Kwajalein Atoll, which have been constructed to protect communities from the sea, especially during extreme weather events.
The proposed sea wall on Ejit will mitigate not only flooding but also the collateral damages caused in terms of disease, loss of school time, work time, agricultural loss, and the cost of rebuilding damaged structures.
A total of $425,000 will be used on Kili Island to purchase medical equipment and supplies for the existing health clinic, which supports a population of more than 500 people of Bikini.
The KBE local government will provide a match of $725,000 of its own money to expand the clinic, building an emergency room, a laboratory, and an X-ray and delivery room in a mini-hospital type setting.
The OIA TAP grant will be used to acquire medical equipment and supplies to improve and expand healthcare services in the new setting.
The proposed expansion of the Kili health clinic will be coordinated with the Section 177 Healthcare Program provide improved health care and emergency service options in a timely manner to the residents of Kili Island, where currently only rudimentary health services are available.
Many critical health situations have cost the lives of those on Kili unable to receive adequate preventive or sometimes urgent health care while awaiting a medi-vac from Kili to the Marshall Islands’ principal hospital in Majuro. The proposed expanded clinic will serve help improve health care and save lives on Kili. (PR)