Bikini Islanders seeking Refuge in the US
First nuclear tests and now climate change has made residents of Bikini Atoll move away from their residences. Now, the former residents of Bikini Atoll want to use their government trust fund to resettle in the US, USA Today reported.
In 1948, over 150 residents of Bikini Atoll were forced to move almost 500 miles away to Kili and Ejit in the Marshall Islands, so that the US could conduct nearly two-dozen atomic tests. The residents tried to move back to their native place in 1969, but they could not because of radiation from the nuclear tests.
The BBC reported that there was a wide spread flooding on Kili in 2011 and 2015. It was also found that salty water is also killing crops and ruining fresh water supplies. Kili and Ejit were covered by waves at least five times in the past four years, USA Today reported.
The islanders, who are already allowed to live and work in the US, passed a resolution in August, in which, they asked the US government to allow them take their resettlement trust fund with them to the US.
As per the reports of BBC, the Department of Interior is supporting the islanders, and forwarding their proposal to congress. The assistant secretary of the Interior said, “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”.
Marshall Island foreign minister Tony de Brum will also meet US congressmen today to discuss a petition that would allow up to 2,500 islanders to build new homes in the US.
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