The US Department of Agriculture is stepping in to help solve a two-decade old problem in the capital city of Majuro. USDA Area Director Joseph Diego and Majuro Water and Sewer Company (MWSC) General Manager Joseph Batol signed off on a funding agreement Monday in Majuro through which USDA will provide $3 million of the $4 million needed to fix the long-damaged sewage outfall in Delap.
The remaining 25 percent cost share for the project is covered by MWSC. The outfall pipe, where raw sewage is dumped directly on the ocean reef outside MWSC, has been an ongoing problem for over 22 years, said Batol.
Until it is fixed, it poses health risks to the Delap neighborhood, nearby Delap Elementary School, the PPF fish plant and further areas down current. MWSC applied to the USDA office on Majuro and worked closely with US Ambassador Tom Armbruster to access funds outside the RMI for the urgently needed work. The outfall has been on the agenda of past government administrations but was not addressed.
Armbruster and Diego stated their support for the project. Armbruster added that the project is a good health, education, and infrastructure development.
A result from the near shore sewage disposal is an algae invasion.
If you want some gruesome detail, an underwater video on the outfall was made by College of the Marshall Islands, Sea Grant, and the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority in 2014 and can be viewed on YouTube: search for MWSC Outfall Underwater Dive 091914.
Read more about this in the April 8, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.