Annual â€˜k…pting schools
QuoteMAJURO â€” Two Marshall Islands secondary schools were forced to close Wednesday and Thursday when king tides washed out portions of a seven-mile-long causeway, preventing school buses from transporting students to school.
â€œEducation: Rolling with the Tidesâ€ is the definition of choice of Gary Elaisha, Director of Queen of Peace Schools on Kwajalein Atoll, in describing substantial tidal flooding on the Ebeye-Gugeegue causeway due to this weekâ€™s king tides.
â€œThe tides are dictating the school schedule,â€ he said of conditions along the seven-mile-long causeway....
....Ebeye was the first island to report problems from the high tides this week. â€œWe had to suspend school early Wednesday to beat the tides,â€ said Elaisha. The buses for both Kwajalein High School and Fr. Hacker High School have suffered breakdowns this week after traveling through salt water on the tide-damaged causeway.
Kwajalein Atoll Local Government workers were out early Wednesday morning attempting temporary causeway improvements with heavy equipment, Elaisha said. But anticipated problems with Thursdayâ€™s high tide caused both high schools to cancel classes Thursday.
The causeway linking the population center of Ebeye Island, home to about 12,000 people, with Gugueegue Island, seven miles to the north, was first constructed in the early 1990s. Two high schools and a few residences are located on Gugeegue. But the causeway was never paved or properly reinforced, resulting in ongoing damage from storm surf and high tides.
Kwajaleinâ€™s Gugeegue causeway has been a boon and a bust for the community, offering a viable travel route to Gugeegue for school attendance, but causing serious maintenance challenges to expensive vehicles transporting students.
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from Nitijela UN Workshop Outcomes Statement, Feb. 17, 2011