Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina has written US Senate and House congressional leadership proposing legislation allowing the people of Bikini to use existing resettlement and relocation funds to relocate their communities outside of the Marshall Islands. Current federal law restricts resettlement funds for use within the Marshall Islands.
“This is an appropriate course of action for the United States to take regarding the welfare and livelihood of the Bikinian people given the deteriorating conditions on Kili and Ejit Islands in the Marshall Islands with crowding, diminishing resources, and increased frequency of flooding due to king tides on their islands,” said Assistant Secretary Kia’aina.
While Kia’aina has taken action on the resettlement trust fund as requested earlier by the Bikinians, she has not yet approved the Bikinians’ fiscal year operations budget that was supposed to go into effect October 1. The budget for the Kili/Bikini/Ejit Local Government is normally passed by the council in September after consultations with Interior and approved prior to October 1.
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