GoM, ADB Hails Solution to Maldives’ ‘Burning Island’

The Government of Maldives has announced a landmark project to bring a solution to waste management and overhauling the island of Thilafushi.

The island of Thilafushi, located in near capital Male’ City, is used to burn waste.

The project is financed by Asian Development Bank (ADB). Minister of Finance and Treasury Ahmed Munawar and ADB Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Director Ronald Antonio signed the agreement on behalf of their respective agencies. Minister of Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim was also present in the ceremony.

‘Greater Male’ Environmental Improvement and Waste Management Project’ is a two-phase project and is valued at US$ 160 million. ADB supplied US$ 33.07 million for the first phase of the projection, with another US$ 2 million coming from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. The entire project is a grant aid project.

‘We have been planning for this initiative for sometime now. Today we have secured the funding for the 1st phase through the ADB grant and another 2 million from the Gov of Japan,’ said Minister Munawar.

The Minister also assured that the Government had assurance that financial institutions will provide the required US$ 125 million for the second phase.

Speaking in the ceremony, Minister of Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim said that the aim of the Government was to ensure that Thilafushi island was an area that was habitable.

Thilafushi island had been used as the main waste collection area for the greater Male’ region for years. Burning waste is the main way of waste management. The smoke clouds generated by burning waste had, over the years, generated multiple health and environment concerns.

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