Kiribati in Danger of Disappearing into the Pacific Ocean

 

Kiribati is a low-lying island country in the Pacific Ocean. Currently over 100,000 people live there, at least for the moment. In the near future the population of Kiribati may be forced to look for a new place to live.

According to climate experts sea levels could rise by almost two meters by the end of the century, flooding the group of islands which are only a few feet high. Some of the country’s 32 atolls are already disappearing beneath the Pacific’s waves. Villagers in some areas have already started to move as seawater has started to enter the fresh water basins.

Kiribati needs to do something, quickly. One option is to build floating platforms for its population, a project that will cost about 2 billion dollars. Some experts want to build walls around the islands’ shores to keep seawater out. A third option is to move its citizens. Currently, Kiribati’s president is negotiating with Fiji to purchase land on its second largest island.

Moving over 100,000 people to another country, however, poses many problems. It can’t be done all at once. Kiribati plans to send skilled workers to Fiji first, so that it can help the country’s economy. They need to find work so that Kiribati’s people will not look at them as refugees. Already Kiribati is sending young people to Fiji’s university in order to give them a better education. Kiribati’s population must also leave behind their culture and adapt to Fiji’s, which is somewhat different.

 

Not only Kiribati faces threats of sinking into the ocean. Other low-lying island groups such as the Maldives and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean are also in danger.

 

Location of Kiribati

Location of Kiribati

 

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Words

  • according to = as said by …
  • adapt = get used to
  • atoll = coral island that has the shape of a ring
  • billion = a thousand million
  • century = a hundred years
  • currently = right now
  • disappear = cannot be seen; here: sink under the sea level
  • economy = the production and sales of goods and products in a country
  • float = to swim or drift on the water’s surface
  • flood = to cover land with water
  • force = to make someone do something
  • fresh water = drinking water; not salty water from the ocean
  • near = soon
  • negotiate = talk with someone in order to find a solution to a problem
  • option = solution, alternative
  • population = the people who live in a country
  • refugee = someone who has to leave their country because of a war , conflict or natural disaster
  • rise = go up
  • sea level = the average height of the sea
  • shore = coastline
  • skilled = talented, trained
  • threat = danger