Bikini relocation fund changes seen as 'plan b' for locals

6:03 pm on 21 October 2015

A representative from Bikini Atoll says a proposal to allow people to use resettlement and relocation funds outside of the Marshall Islands is not wanted.

Nuclear test explosion at Bikini Atoll for Operation Crossroads, Marshall Islands, 1945/6

Nuclear test at Bikini Atoll for Operation Crossroads, Marshall Islands Photo: Supplied

Currently, resettlement funds are restricted for use within the Marshalls but the Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia'aina says it is appropriate to open up the fund because of plight of the Bikinian people.

The Bikinians were displaced by United States nuclear testing 70 years ago but are now looking at relocating again because of increased flooding and deteriorating conditions on Kili and Ejit Islands.

Bikini liaison officer Jack Niedenthal says the US should take full responsibility for any resettlement including providing extra financing.

"We still got a ways to go, we still have to do some more lobbying and some more talking to people in Washington to make them understand that what's being proposed by the assistant secretary is what we view as 'Plan B'. It's not ultimately what we want in terms of helping our people."

Mr Niedenthal says current resettlement funding is already the Marshall Islands' right.

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