Environment Minister Thoriq Ibrahim says the Government of Maldives was seeking to provide clean drinking water for 65 percent of the population by end of the year.
Speaking in the ceremony held in Environment Ministry, Minister Thoriq said when this administration was sworn in in 2013, only six islands had full access to clean water. However, in the past four years, this number has increased to 21 islands.
‘This is a significant amount as this is 44 percent of the entire population. As of now, clean water system projects are underway in 25 islands. We anticipate this figure can rise to 65 percent, we’re hoping it would be higher than that,’ said the Minister.
He also revealed that safe storage was a priority.
Reflecting on the emergency water supplies for the past two years, Minister Thoriq said over 70 islands were provided with water. This number, he added, is expected to shrink in the coming months.
‘The Government targeted to limit the number of islands facing the issue in the warmer months. We have been working to achieve that target. In the past 29 years, we have developed safe options to store water,’ he added.
The Ministry also revealed that a specific act on clean water systems and sanitation networks was developed and sent to Attorney General (AG) Office.
Clean water and sanitation is an aspect of the Sustainable Development Goals Maldives is attempting to achieve.
In the past five years 80 percent of the islands required emergency water support totaling 16490 tons. In 2011 alone, the Government of Maldives had spent MVR 2,193,390 to provide emergency support for areas that needed clean water.
The biggest emergency related to clean water occurred in capital Male’ city back in 2014, when due to an issue with the panel board, water supply to entire capital Male’ was disrupted. Emergency measures and timely assistance from partners alleviated the crisis.