Marshalls' Nuclear Evacuee Housing In Spotlight

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Crowded, substandard housing exacerbated by pop growth

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, September 4, 2015) – There's been a call in Marshall Islands for the US to pay for improvements to substandard housing for the hundreds evacuated from a missile testing site in the 1960s.

A report from the Kwajalein Atoll Development Authority shows 700 people originally from the Mid-Corridor islands in Kwajalein Atoll are living in crowded, substandard homes on Ebeye with limited access to bathrooms and many prone to flooding.

They were relocated from this portion of Kwajalein Atoll to Ebeye Island in 1965 away from the pathway of the United States dummy nuclear warheads being tested from the Reagan Test Site missile base on Kwajalein.

The report's author Carl Hacker says very large growth in the relocated population over the last 50 years has produced a very poor quality of life for almost all of the households.

He says enough of the Ebeye Special Needs Funds under the Compact of Free Association need to be shifted to meaningfully address the poor living conditions.

Mr Hacker is gearing up to produce a housing solution for the evacuees most of whom don't have land rights to Ebeye.


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