Skip to content


Journey to Ebeye Island, in the Marshall archipelago. The population density and poverty, the highest in the Pacific, have earned Ebeye the nickname of "Pacific Slum". This island is the home of 13 thousand people who survive in less than 1 square km striving to keep their past active, and trying to feed the hope of a future made uncertain by the rise in sea level. Arrival at Kwajalein airport, after a 3-day trip by plane. The last part of the route was on board a small plane called the "Island Hopper" which connects the island of Guam with Hawaii, making a stopover in about ten islets and atolls. I am the only one to get off at this "stop" and the welcome is much less colorful and floral than those I witnessed from the airplane window during previous stopovers. I am in the middle of an American military base adjacent to Ebeye Island and I am greeted by two marines who take me to a room asking me to open my bags. Why am I there? I'm on behalf of an American NGO that is bringing water purifiers and developing an application to be able to quickly survey a community. In the event of extreme events such as typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes or fires, you need to know quickly where the most vulnerable people live, from diabetics to wheelchair users. In this way, the rescuers will know how to move and how many people to look for in a certain sector. This application has already been successfully tested in the Philippines and it was decided to implement it also on Ebeye. I will be staying here for about 10 days. Most of Ebeye's inhabitants work at the American military base in Kwajalein, a few miles away, representing the only stable source of entry.

Marshall islands july 2019; Ebeye Island is the most popolous siland in the pacific. Ebeye island is tied with Manila as the most densely populated place on Earth. There are 15,000 souls crammed into a tiny island of only 0.14 square miles. The island is impoverished. The 900 Ebeyeans working for the US Army on nearby Kwajalein island can make $10-12 an hour, providing the main source of income. There is no tourist infrastructure whatsoever, and no tourists.Ebeye had little involvement with the outside world until German occupation starting in 1899, and then a Japanese takeover after World War One. The Imperial Japanese Navy constructed a seaplane base on Ebeye in the early 1940s. U.S. forces took the island in a bloody four-day battle known as Operation Flintlock on February 4, 1944.Before WWII, Ebeye was a small community, supporting itself through fishing. When the US started using next-door Kwajalein as a support base for the nuclear tests conducted at Bikini Atoll and Enewetak Atoll, they relocated all the Marshallese residents of Kwajalein to a small, planned community constructed on Ebeye island.