Homeless encampments along Kapalama Canal raise environmental co - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless encampments along Kapalama Canal raise environmental concerns

Homeless tents along Kapalama Canal in Kalihi Homeless tents along Kapalama Canal in Kalihi
KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Dozens of illegal tents and homeless encampments continue to line the banks of the Kapalama Canal in Kalihi.

Social service groups are working hard to get the families off the streets and into public housing.

IHS officials say 70 percent are COFA migrants, Compact of Free Association migrants that include three sovereign states: the Federated States of Micronesia that includes Yap and Chuuk, the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

Among the issues that have been ongoing here for months are the pollution issues. There were also some reports of the canal being used as a bathroom, concerning the Department of Health. Nearby businesses are also complaining about the unsightliness surrounding the area. 

The city -- which has posted signs saying no camping or fishing is allowed -- says the only law that impacts the encampments is the Stored Property Ordinance, which requires a 24-hour advance notice if illegal property is found on city property.

To date, city officials say from July 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, there were 24 enforcement actions, including 37 tons of trash collected at a disposal cost of $1,665, not including the number of items taken and stored by the city.

To report any issues or concerns, call the city's Stored Property Ordinance and Sidewalk Nuisance hotline at 768-3585.

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