Our Lansing Church Student Missionary, Paloma Rodriguez has now returned from her mission trip to the Marshall Island of Ebeye nearly 7,000 miles away! The school is still in need of many things and the Lansing Church members have been helping in many ways.

Below is a list of the needs at the school. 

Items needed to help  at the school

Mail Items directly to the address below using the US Postal Service flat rate boxes  (https://postcalc.usps.com)Use the following address:

Raman Sathiyaseelan
PO Box 5070
EBEYE 96970

Summary of items needed:

  1. Funds for mail shipping costs.
  2. Ukuleles or parts to build them.
  3. 12 volt led lights, fans, rechargeable batteries, and battery chargers for working when the power goes out.
  4. Bibles, Classic American literature and any children’s books, EG white books, etc.
  5. Pathfinder uniforms, all sizes,  old uniforms will do. (Other  clothing items are needed as well)
  6. Hand sanitizer or ingredients for making it.
  7. Garden seeds, dry seed starting soils (the island has only poor sandy soil)
  8. Rolled Oats, Granola bars and other non-perishable food. ( It is too expensive to ship heavy items like canned goods)
  9. Window fans for the classrooms (these are 120 volts with standard plugs) 12 needed.
  10. Rolls of window screen to stop the bugs.
  11. Water desalination units ( When the rainwater is gone they only have seawater)

Water filtration and Hand Sanitizers#

Water filtration for both the school and their little apt complex.  The water is very dirty and they do not have any hand washing stations at the school so Paloma would really like a stockpile of hand sanitizers.  I asked how they flush toilets and she said that they have to carry buckets. When electricity is out, no running water so no showers.  When it doesn’t rain, no freshwater so only salt water is available for showering so if there is a system to get saltwater filtered out somehow that would be great. 

One of our Lansing Church members is putting together a Sawyer Filter and a plastic pail you can build a filter with this $45 kit https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Products-SP181-Filtration-Squeezable/dp/B004TZ86M6/ref  3 to 4 of these kits should be able to serve the entire school with clean drinking water.

There is a government-sponsored project to address the challenges in Kajur (Ebeye) of freshwater supply, but the challenges are great:
• Unaccounted water loss – Most of the main water lines are more than twenty years old. Pipe material consists of cast iron pipes, which cause corrosion which leads to low pressure and high turbidity. The infrastructure needs major upgrades and modernization, and there is relatively little public investment into public water/sewer systems.
• Deteriorating systems
• Water pollution – Microbial contamination of source water from septic tanks, piggeries, cemeteries, and commercial fertilizers a major threat to the drinking water supply in Majuro.  The building rooftops could be a collection reservoir for microbial pathogens from bird and rat waste.
• Increasing demand
• Financial hurdles
• competing uses, unresolved issues
• Climate change impacts – Rising sea levels Increase the vulnerability of water wells to saltwater intrusion.
• Problematic wastewater systems – Untreated wastewater is disposed of into the lagoon on Ebeye.  Major upgrades to this system are required.

Desalination Unit

Filters do not remove salt from seawater. Desalination units will be needed for this,

Bibles, Books, and calculators

Other needs I can think of right now are: E.G. White books for kids, classic books like Tom Sawyer, Moby Dick, etc. and of course bibles.  Martha sent about 20 bibles this week donated by the Baptist church. Calculators and school supplies as usual. 

Tables and Chairs

In her classroom, there are not enough tables and chairs for all the students and a desk for teachers as Paloma and someone else goes back and forth with sharing a teacher desk.  There is a total of 322+ students currently attending with some that just joined from the GEM  Christian school on the island which is the Mormon’s school I think.

Fabric and Pathfinder Uniforms

Any used pathfinder uniforms as they have a small group over there but no uniforms.


Garden seeds as she is trying to start a community garden but I believe the ground is not very fertile. 

Air conditioners, fans and window screens.

It is always very hot over there so yes AC units would be great, however, electricity works half of the week. She says it is unbearable to sleep at night because it is so stuffy but can’t leave door open because all the roaches will swarm in. We can send some fans for the school and some window screen material.

Music and shipping costs

Lastly, their major musical instrument over there is the ukulele. Paloma has been borrowing one these past 6 weeks so Martha finally sent her one.  She says a lot of the kids know how to play but do not have one available to use just sharing between them the few that are out there.  

Background of Ebeye water and sewage problems

When the US military relocated neighboring island Kwajalein’s original inhabitants to Ebeye, the military constructed “Army Units” for their
accommodation. As Ebeye’s population grew residents added rooms to these units resulting in an overcrowded urban area existing of one-room shacks and lean-tos of plywood, tin and plastic sheeting. As a result of the high population density and limited availability of resources in addition to limited water supply and inadequate solid and sewage waste disposal, the occurrence of water-borne diseases became common.

Water supply, wastewater disposal, and sanitation:  The water sources available to Ebeye residents are piped water on Kwajalein, municipal water from a multi-effect distillation desalinization unit (MED), commercially bottled water, rainwater and water from shallow wells. The term “barrel water” is used for water stored in the same vessel consisting of a mixture of rainwater harvested from roof catchments and municipal water (Barber, 1994).
The previous municipal water supply, which came from the (MED) unit produced about 180,000 gallons of fresh water a day and constantly experienced malfunctions.

Water for the municipal system from the desalination units used to be supplemented by water collected on a 0.44 acre (1.8 ha) dilapidated and poorly maintained catchment basin at the southern tip of the island. The catchment basin is currently not used as an additional supply and is suffering from

According to a Water and Sanitation Survey in 1988 up to 93 % of the households received municipal water (OPS 1988) whereas recent reports suggest only 70 %.  Water flow is intermittent in the municipal system and residents fill barrels and cisterns with municipal water for later use. Weekly testing by Kwajalein Hospital Laboratory has demonstrated coliform contamination at several locations in the distribution system, which can be attributed to illegal connections and the attachment of private water pumps to household lines.

This situation changed with the construction of the new hospital on Ebeye funded through a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The deadline for the completion of the hospital was meant to be early in 2002, although at the time it did not seem as if this would
be accomplished.

Due to the construction of the new hospital, reliable water and power supply needed to be guaranteed and the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) was contracted to provide technical assistance to the Kwajalein Atoll Joint Utilities Resources (KAJUR). ASPA is now assisting in
upgrading Ebeye’s electricity, water supply, and reticulated saltwater sewage system. A large team from ASPA, partly based in Ebeye, has been assisting KAJUR for the past year including Messrs Mareko, Tusi and Dworsky who are water supply and wastewater engineers responsible for the ASPA component of the project management and implementation in Ebeye.

The system used in the Past:
The old system was a multi-effect distillation (MED) desalination unit that was using the excess heat of the Ebeye power plant, which provided 180,000 gal/day into municipal supply, rationed to just two 35-minute periods per day.
Repair of the MED system is apparently not feasible and the installation should be properly disposed of or sold to an interested party.

In early December 2000, a cholera outbreak was detected on Ebeye in the period between 1 December 2000 and 5 January 2001, resulting in 103 patients with symptomatic cholera infection of which 6 patients died. A cholera task force was established and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) undertook a mission in January 2001 to determine the extent of the outbreak and to identify risk factors on Ebeye for cholera. The situation has since been under control but the sanitation facilities and practices on Ebeye remain poor and new outbreaks of water-related diseases like cholera are likely to occur as V. cholerae 01 can survive in the environment indefinitely, and the threat of another outbreak still remains to this day.

After the cholera outbreak, water on Ebeye was sampled from three different locations of the Saltwater Reverse Osmosis desalination unit (groundwater well intake, after desalination at the unit, after chlorine treatment) by Mr. Risen Tarbillin and Mr. Komi Kintaro from RMIEPA Majuro 22nd -26th September 2001.  Analysis of the samples showed that the quality of the water provided by the desalination unit was free from coliform bacteria. Coastal water samples taken at six sites in the lagoon of Ebeye and Quijigue all showed a positive occurrence of pathogenic organisms. This resulted in all sites being considered not suitable for recreational activities (swimming and fishing).

The Ebeye water quality monitoring program of the EPA is hampered by insufficient funds to adequately maintain the equipment and perform laboratory analysis. A previous program was in place in which pH, chloride, nitrate, and coliform were tested but none of these parameters can currently be determined.

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