Closing public water taps “like drinking blood of the people”: Umar Naseer

Male’ Municipality has closed 14 public water taps across the city, leaving only four taps available.

Deputy Head of the Municipality Mohamed Arif said the taps were closed because the council had received many complaints about the taps, which were “not being used by Maldivians.”

”Most of the water is used by expats, for car washing and a very few poor locals,” Arif said. ”We have done surveys to check who has been using the water taps.”

Arif said the water taps cost the municipality Rf3.5 million (US$270,000) last year.

He said the water taps were established intending to help the poor locals who could not afford to pay the water bill.

”Our records show that only 10 per-cent of the people using the water taps were Maldivians,” he said.

”We receive many complaints from Ameer Ahmed School that people throw water at the students,” he said. ”We also have many complaints from people that they are having difficulties due to water spilt near the taps.”

Press Secretary for the president Mohamed Zuhair also said that the taps were used mainly by expats and for washing cars.

Vice president of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party DRP Umar Naseer said that he was concerned about the issue as “a lot of people are unable to afford their water bill.”

”That’s why they stay in the queue for hours, ” he said. ”Closing the water taps is like drinking the blood of the people.”

Most people could not afford to drink bottled mineral water all the time, he noted.


11 thoughts on “Closing public water taps “like drinking blood of the people”: Umar Naseer”

  1. What this article reveal is the 6th grade thinking of the Deputy head of Male' Municipality and the Press secretary Zuhair

    Arif when you say very poor Maldivians what standards have you used to determine who is poor and who is not? Over 40% of Maldivian population lives below the poverty line. It doesn't matter where they live. Those who live in Male' are worse, because they have less access to fresh water and spacious living. They are less likely to have any savings and are more likely to be over spenders.

    And you said only “10% of the tap users are Maldivians”. Even if we assume what you are saying is right 10% is not a small number you could just ignore and shut your eyes on. This will translate into several hundreds. When I was in living in Male' I remember queuing to collect water from these taps with my other household members. We did that not because we fancied it. We did it out of necessity. I don’t see anything that has changed. If anything we are worse of economically with prices gone up and salaries been slashed.

    If you really have done a survey, Arif, Publish it and substantiate your claims with data. You seem to think Maldivians are fools to be blind of this business stunt you have undertaken. What you have done is force all of us to use water from that taps at home and make sure our water bills climb to hundreds so the government can squeeze every penny out of the hard working Maldivians. If the reason of closing these taps is because foreigners using it to wash their car, there are other measures that can be taken that are perfectly plausible. Closing these taps bad move, even politically.

  2. This move is something that will benefit the people in the long run. Only 10% of the people using the water are Maldivian.

    This means that instead of spending 3.5 Million MRF extra each year, we can offer better subsidies to the poorest households in the country. This way more Maldivians will benefit from the Municipalities efforts than just a few people.

    We can not keep maintaining the inefficient practices of the past. We need to support progressive change that will cut costs and make this government both sustainable and efficient. We can't go asking for Foreign Aid from other governments if the majority of the money they give is not going to their intended recipients.

    This is a new day. No longer will our government funds be squandered, mismanaged, or stolen. That is the difference between this administration and the last one.

  3. Umar Naseer says, "Closing the water taps is like drinking the blood of the people."

    Which people?
    Ninety percent of those who use the tap are foreigners apparently.

    Of course, Umar Naseer would be against any move the government makes. This is what he thinks he should be doing being the opposition.

    Closing the taps will cause some problems to some poor families. I am not saying that families like that of one commenter here (wolf's) do not exist. But that does not make me think the government should spend some Rf 3.5 million and keep the taps open only to be misused by foreigners.

    These taps are only in Male'. So we are giving the service to those who are living in Male' and this in my mind is a problem itself.

    If the government is providing safe drinking water to the people, it should be provided to everyone in the country. Not to the few in Male'.

    We are a poor country. We are not a rich country that the state can afford to provide this kind of services to the people.

    And when we are rich enough to provide free drinking water to all citizens, we can think of doing it. This is the day I am looking forward to see. Insha Allah it will not take too long for us to be there.

  4. So the water taps were established to help the poor locals who could not afford to pay the water bill - this was a long time ago, when there were far fewer expatriates in Male'. Since that time more and more expatriates have been brought into the country, most of them doing jobs that many Maldivians would not consider doing themselves, living in poor accommodation without a clean water supply, and earning only a tiny amount - certainly not enough to be able to afford to buy bottled water. How selfish of the municipality to take away this facility from these people - many of whom are probably employed by the municipality itself! It is the expatriates who keep this country running - all the construction, all the road maintenance, all the rubbish collection... Just imagine what the public response would be if Maldivians were forced to live and work in the same conditions as the expatriates...

  5. I don’t know any or many foreigners owning cars in MLE. So how can they be washing the cars? If they are washing the cars using these taps, it must be foreigners washing the cars owned by rich Maldivians. If this is the case, you can find the cars and tell the owners to foot the bill. MLE is not a big place and everyone know who owns a car and not. So, this should not be a big issue to tag these cars.

    Water is basic necessity for all - all human being. Whether be a Maldivian or foreigner or Animal. So I don’t believe that you can cut water just cos the bill you have to pay is too much. You have to provide for it. Water from those taps is for drinking. If people are abusing it, that’s what needs to be stopped. Not the water!

  6. I commented before, on a different article, that the hatred for foreigners (read Bangladeshis) is so much on the rise in your beautiful island nation. You really don’t need any further proof than the comments in this news article as well as above. The reason you will close the taps is because around 90% of those who benefit are foreigners (Bangladeshis). One reason is that they use the water to wash their cars. Surely, they own the cars? Aren’t the cars washed with that water owned by wealthy Maldivians? It would be safe to assume that the Maldivians who employ those foreigners ensure that they (the foreigners) have accesses to potable water, let alone good living conditions, uh? So in a way the foreigners are benefitting from what is rightfully for ‘Maldivians only’ when they are paid enough to cater for their own needs? When I think of what these poor ‘Banglas’ have to go through just to ensure Maldivians have a comfortable life I just need not look further to see the epitome of ‘being unappreciative’. These words coming from a leader of the municipality!

  7. Umar Naseer ahahahahaaa can someone shut this clown. He is played the same game as Thin Fili Dr Waheeed. Hahahaaa funny politicians in the Maldives. Umar Naseer, wish you luck those cracking jokes. LOL

  8. I think the "clown" Umar Naseer sometimes talks more sense than some of these top people Anni has with him. I am really starting to hate this government. I sometimes wonder if the President keeps those people out of necessity. How about pushing to slash about 10k of each of those good-for-nothing mp salaries. That way we save about 10mil a year. Locals or not those taps are used by human beings. Not cats and rats. Human Rights for these people only seems to be of concern when its their party or in prisons. f*c* this s*i*!

  9. ”Our records show that only 10 per-cent of the people using the water taps were Maldivians,” so the other 90% are aliens from mars who dont drink or shower?

    everytime press secretary juha or mdp spokesperson dhonbileh or drp deputy leader umar open their mouth they shoot their own foot. i dont think these people ever heard of the term 'political correctness'.


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