Malé City Council will create seven hundred new jobs for locals through city cleaning and maintenance programmes within three years, Deputy Mayor Shifa Mohamed has said today.
Speaking about the council’s ‘Nala Fehi Male’ (Clean Green Malé) programme’s Malé City cleaning project – which was announced yesterday – Shifa said that that within four to five months one hundred locals will be recruited to sweep Malé City.
The inaugural ceremony for the programme was held yesterday outside Iskandar School, with the council reporting that permission to hold the event inside the school was suddenly withdrawn. According to Haveeru, no government invitees were present at the ceremony held by the opposition dominated city council.
Following the recent local council elections, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party took eight out of the 11 seats on Malé City Council.
Speaking at the ceremony, Malé City Mayor Mohamed Shihab said that the council’s target was to create job opportunities for as many local Malé residents as possible through partnership with private businesses.
Shihab said that the council will very soon formulate a programme to resolve the housing crisis in Malé, and that such projects can be carried out with the help of investors by utilising uninhabited islands near the city.
At the ceremony, former President Mohamed Nasheed said that the council has to find ways to carry out their mandate underlined in the Decentralisation Act, which the government should allow.
Deputy Mayor Shifa said that the council wants to cooperate and work with the government, and is currently in the process of meeting with ministers and senior members of the administration.
The ‘Nala Fehi Male’ program was launched in 2012 under a contract made with local advertising and marketing company Business Image Group (BIG). Under the contract billboard slots have also been lent to the company to fund the project.
“This is a wide programme, it includes parks, cleaning, ferry terminals and many other things. What we announced yesterday was the cleaning component of this program. It is an existing contract and we are going forward with it,” Shifa said.
She noted that civil servants who are now tasked with cleaning Malé’ are unable to do it properly, mainly because there are very few people to do the work.
Shifa said that most of the cleaning staff are currently migrant workers, and the council aims to provide more opportunities for local male’ city residents. The council is also placing two hundred dustbins around the city as part of the programme.