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Plan to build sea wall against rising sea

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 2, 2010) - The Marshall Islands' ambassador to the United Nations says donor partners have expressed interest in a plan to build a sea wall around the islands to protect against rising sea levels.

[PIR editor’s note: Recent report states they are to build over a 3 mile long seawall along the leeward coast of Majuro Atoll for shore protection and are to use land fills to increase landmass to buffer against rising sea levels and high waves during storms.]

Ambassador Phillip Muller has been speaking to a number of countries following his urgent plea last week for donors to contribute up US$20 million to pay for the sea wall.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have issued warnings of severe flooding for Majuro, where about half of the population lives.

Ambassador Muller says the figure is an initial estimate and may rise after studies for the project are finalized.

"For us in the Marshall Islands, it's a matter of life and death," he said.

"In the past few months we have seen a very large increase in the waves coming on to our shores, especially the shores that are exposed to winds and waves, especially in the, capital Majuro."

Mr. Muller says it is premature to name the donor countries interested in helping.

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