In 1942 during WW2 the American military landed on Funafuti in order to base strategically and combat the Japanese advance in the Pacific region. Of two possible places, local people sacrificed their pulaka gardens over the destruction of the village to position the runway. The deep organic mud pits had to be filled with coral and sand that was 'borrowed' from the then unpopulated part of the islet. The land was never restored. Sixty years on, the population of the nation's capital has increased tenfold people are forced to live on and around four hectares of tidal pools that are littered with the detritus of modern life.