Fighting for freshwater amid climate change
Banga Roriki is working with his nephew, Robin, who has been living in this house, on Majuro, one of the Marshall Islands, for 22 years.
CHIP FLETCHER: Sea level is rising in certain parts of the pacific faster than anywhere else in the world.
MIKE TAIBBI: What’s the biggest threat now to the Marshall Islands?
the family relies on rainwater catchment tanks for water — but those remain practically empty because of a relentless drought.
Getting fresh water has always been a preoccupation for the Marshall Islands.
The freshwater wells and underground aquifers are at risk of being fouled by salt water from frequent flooding some wells already spoiled because of high tides driven by rising sea level.
On Majuro, home to 27,000 residents, severe weather events put enormous pressure on the main water source — seven reservoirs that store rainwater collected from the airport’s runway.
MIKE TAIBBI: But deBrum says he’s confident coming improvements will one day provide all residents 24/7 water access, even during droughts.
MIKE TAIBBI: Do you use it to drink, or just cook with it?
Ferries throughout the day from Kwaj bring jugs of good, free and safe water from the base’s own state of the art desalination plant.