Trump Administration Awards $1,107,654 to Kili-Bikini-Ejit Local Government in the Marshall Islands

9/16/2020
Last edited 9/16/2020

Tanya Harris Joshua 202-208-6008
Tanya_Joshua@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration announced $1,107,654 in fiscal year 2020 grant funding to the Republic of the Marshall Islands provided through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs’ (OIA) Technical Assistance Program. This funding will support the Kili-Bikini-Ejit (KBE) 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.

“Secretary Bernhardt and I are pleased to support the efforts of the KBE Local Government to protect the Ejit Island community from severe weather events and to help improve  basic health care services for the residents of Kili,” said Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech. “Funding like this demonstrates the long-time, close relationship between our two nations.”

Fiscal year 2020 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) funding totaling $1,107,654 will be provided to the KBE Local Government as follows:

  • Ejit Sea Wall - $682,654 will be used to construct 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.                                                                                                                                                                         
  • Kili Health Clinic - $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.

The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, @ASIIADomenech, and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Follow and “like” OIA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InsularAffairs.

 

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