26 Jul 2010

US army report says infrastructure on Ebeye failing

6:50 am on 26 July 2010

A United States Army report says the infrastructure on the island of Ebeye in the Marshall Islands is failing and cannot support its population of fifteen thousand people.

Commissioned by the Commander of the nearby Kwajalein missile range, the US Army Corps of Engineers found the basic needs of a thousand workers from the range who live on Ebeye were being neglected.

Our correspondent in the Marshalls, Giff Johnson, says the island, which is next to the missile range has been called 'the slum of the Pacific' and this new report highlights longstanding problems.

"The sewerage plant hasn't worked for five years and raw sewage is dummed into the lagoon not too far from where people swim, they don't have enough fresh water making capacity, the trash is dumped into an open land fill right next to where people live."

Giff Johnson says both a Kwajalein Senator and the Marshall Islands Foreign Minister are backing the report, which they say provides a helpful roadmap to improving living conditions on the island.