The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has today continued with efforts to relocate families on the island of Maafilaafushi in Lhaviyani Atoll, local media has reported.
MNDF officers began assisting with the transfer of families to the island of Naifaru yesterday (July 10) at the request of Lhaviyani Atoll Council.
MNDF officials have told Sun Online that the ongoing transfer of the estimated 80 people living on Maafilaafushi was expected to continue on Saturday (July 13). The military also thanked islanders for their cooperation.
Local media has reported that the decision to transfer residents to nearby islands in Lhaviyani Atoll had been taken after the government declared Maafilaafushi an inhabited island.
The office of Lhaviyani Atoll Council and MNDF Media Officer Captain Abdulla Ali were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.
In 2011, the former government began discussions on transferring the population of Maafilaafushi – then estimated at around 100 residents – to other islands.
Local Newspaper Haveeru reported at the time that residents on Maafilaafushi, which was used by the MNDF for training, had demanded to be relocated due to military exercises conducted on the island.