Government seeks US$20 million in donations to repair Malé’s desalination plant

Minister of Defence Mohamed Nazim has said foreign aid will be sought as repairs to Malé’s water desalination plant are expected to cost US$20 million.

Speaking at a press briefing of the president’s task force this morning, Nazim called for donations, revealing that US$1.5 million had already been received.

Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has revealed that an unnamed Saudi donor had already gifted US$1 million, while discussions with the Saudi, Qatari, and Kuwaiti governments were ongoing.

Government offices and schools remain closed in the capital today as the water crisis – caused by a fire at the Malé Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC) last week – enters its third day.

As foreign aid continues, government officials have assured there is sufficient water supplies, although difficulties remain in transmitting the limited supplies being produced by the MWSC to all 130,000 inhabitants.

“Because Malé is so congested, larger quantities and higher pressure is needed to reach higher floors,” Minister at the President’s Office Mohamed Hussain Shareef told Minivan News, assuring that the situation would continue to improve despite being a “logistical nightmare”.

Up to two of the MWSC’s nine reverse osmosis plants have been restored, he explained, although the need for custom built replacements were causing delays.

“Every time we fix a panel, more water is getting pumped into the bore hole. We have been withholding some in order to build pressure.”

“Unfortunately, the capital is so big that until we repair the panels, there is no way we can provide 24hr running water,” said Shareef.

Defence Minister Nazim told the media that water will turned on between 10pm and 12am this evening, with new panels expected to arrive from Singapore on Wednesday.

Emphasising the scale of the problem, Shareef said that the plant normally produces 20,000 metric tonnes per day, of which 80 percent is consumed.

MWSC had one day’s worth of supplies at the time of the fire, he explained, directing further enquiries regarding contingency plans to the company, which was not responding to calls at the time of publication.

Asked about the cause of the fire, Shareef said that eyewitness accounts had suggested an electrical problem, although forensic teams were still investigating.

Aid efforts continue

Shareef applauded the efforts of citizens of Malé, rubbishing reports of violence and unrest carried in the international media.

“When something happens here, people work together – there is a spirit of camaraderie,” he continued. “ Even the boy scouts are helping”.

As health authorities release information for the safe use of water, Shareef assured that all donated water was being checked: “At the moment, there are no health risks at all”.

The Maldives National Defence Force – which continues to distribute water between 2pm and 6pm today – has explained that water is available from 27 ‘mobile points’ as well as the capital’s ten designated distribution centres.

“The mobile points are mainly aimed at bakeries, restaurants, and places serving food, but can be accessed by the general public also,” explained Spokesman Major Hussain Ali.

The Ministry of Health yesterday urged Maldivians to eat food prepared at home during the crisis, while many restaurants in the capital have begun to offer reduced menus on disposable plates.

Information distributed by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) told people to only drink water that has been boiled or filtered – particularly rainwater – warning that well-water was not recommended for drinking or cooking.

Bottled water should be used only for drinking, with alternative sources used for hygiene and other purposes the HPA continued.

Meanwhile, the Indian High Commission has revealed that INS Deepak – carrying 800 tonnes of fresh water, with the capacity to produce 200 tonnes of fresh water per day – is expected in Malé later today.

As of yesterday evening, Indian aircraft have provided just under 300 tonnes of water while INS Sukanya arrived on Friday (December 5). The tenth Indian plane arrived with a further 38 tonnes this afternoon.

Speaking with local media this weekend, Indian High Commisioner Rajeev Shahare said: “We’re always there for the Maldives and we shall always be”.

The Friendship Association of India-Maldives released a statement yesterday thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India for their “timely assistance”.

“The swift and prompt assistance further reiterates the time-tested, all-weather friendship between the people of our two brother Nations,” read the press release.

Sri Lanka and China have also provided fresh water supplies since the crisis began, with the latter also reported to have donated US$500,000 to MWSC.

Additionally, the Bangladeshi High Commission in Malé has told Minivan News that a naval vessel carrying 100 tonnes of fresh water from Chittagong is expected to reach Malé on Thursday (December 11). The ship also has reverse osmosis facilities.

Related to this story

President Yameen to return to Maldives as water crisis enters third day

Indian aircraft arrives to ease Malé water crisis

Malé water supply cut after fire at MWSC

Nasheed calls for inquiry into MWSC fire


25 thoughts on “Government seeks US$20 million in donations to repair Malé’s desalination plant”

  1. Time to give back to community... govt should get help from people who owns chicken which lays golden eggs.

  2. The government needs to stop holding out a begging bowl and start to deal with the massive fraud and corruption in the country.
    TGST did not exist 5 years ago, it started at 3% and is now 12%. Where has all that extra money gone?

  3. You want us to pay, buy the equipment for MWSA, Stelco, Dhiraagu, ooredhoo, and then pay the exorbitant charges they levy monthly? Humiliated every month, when they cut off their services?

    Am I missing something here???

    I say they pay this time, for the failure of their promise to the public in services!

  4. The problem is not small issue; the existing system was never upgraded to meet the demand of water with increasing population in Male’. It seems Male will never be brought to normal condition in supplying water, you don’t have storage capacity and machines that can produce water for about 200000 people daily consumption. Guys pack up and leave you are simply creating a human disaster by consolidating 200000 people in 2sqKL. You need a place the size of Male to store water for this big population.

  5. This is 21st Century and Maldives needs a hands out free foreign relations.

    Maldives can afford to live without political handouts, but the politicions will not allow it.

    Its very obvious that GMR dogged MDP wants India to be involved. So other parties wants other countries involved. This vicious cycle must stop.

  6. Buy back the foreign major shares and Maldivians better run their own utilities.Foreign ownership does not mean that they will treat Maldivians kindly. Their interest and job is to rip-off the Maldivian, make the maximum out the opportunity because they have the control.

  7. Agree if the government stopped the handouts and payoffs and lining their pockets they should have the funds to deal with this.... bad planning especially when you know what the country needs to survive let alone run!!

  8. Unbelievable.. Bunch of beggars!

    Oh and to reply on the "Comments are closed." article of Yameen: of course there should have been a back up plan for a water purifier breakdown. For example if Hulhumale had its own plant by now, there wouldn't be a real problem right now. You can't rely on just 1 system in case of essential resources.

  9. Why don't the government "divert" some of the US$300 million needed for the bridge? Oh, you don't have that money? What's more important for life, a bridge or water?

    That must be a difficult question for the morons leading this country to answer, I'd assume. But then again, it's easy to go and beg with a bowl in hand.

    Here's another tough question. How many overseas trips by the cabinet will it take to pay for the damages to MWSC's equipment?

  10. @ThinkTank73 on Sun, 7th Dec 2014 4:30 PM.
    You have a point to note.
    MWSC being a company may not have to answer the public. But the government on behalf of the peoples through the task force will have to question this and answer the public through media or whatever before calling for donations or raising funds from the public through boxes!
    This is highly alarming and amazing!

  11. @Ekaloas buddy on Sun, 7th Dec 2014 8:50 PM.
    Yes! We have unbelievably been made beggars and humbled!
    We are missing something somewhere!

  12. Golha you make a very sensible points.
    Foreign ownership is only 20% - it is this that has probably kept has the water functioning until this point. Government with 80% ownership will have contributed nil to maintenance therefore leaving blame at foreign investors. The same issue with foreign contracts on rubbish removal from Male. The Government will not take responsibility for $ contribution to foreign contracts. Expecting partners to pick up 100% of maintenance etc no foreign contractor is going to do that.

    Unfortunately Government is broke, a disaster like this is going to finally get Maldivian people to understand this - so " begging bowl" is a must for this government.
    Yes people are right to be questioning foreign aide to build bridges etc when streets are constantly flooding and people cannot get simple sanitation & now access to water.

  13. Im sure even the hard core moumoonists wouldn't be giving a dime to this "fund box". They and we all know where the "funds to repair the machinery" will be going to. Deep inside the fat bellies of these thugs.
    If you want the money, first ask Ahdeeb to return back the money he stole from our "poor resourceless" nation. His loose change could get you guys 20 mil quids.

  14. Now my pretty little Maldives are burnishing their begging bowls once again, you don't have 20 million dollars but want to construct an airport on your own. Oh! my little pretty Maldives, where were your countrymen when Allah was distributing common sense.

  15. Why is the water crisis being linked to all things political…

    Its so convenient to do that. But the general public is smarter. They are understanding.

    So sad that some people want to tarnish the good name of Maldives..

    yes, its a good name and will be a good name.

  16. people of bangladesh will always be at the side of maldivians. one of close friend is on the way to male to worries. God speed

  17. MWSC is getting punishments fro their ruthlessness. Hassan Saeed is secretly (BDM) taking water to his home. From the day previous MD was removed from MWSC the whole company is cursed by GOD. Current administration is bloody selfish bunch and because of the city is suffering.

  18. Very true.
    God is punishing for MWSC. Other than Mohamed Ali no one in MWSC is truthful and humanitarian. So called BDM is thinking he knows everything in the world. Idiot. Greedy man.

    No company will survive with no humanity. Now MWSC begging. No social contribution they made ever.

    Lets see how MWSC is recovering. Monopoly in water should be removed from MWSC now. GOM should get foreign companies to produce water rather than risking lives of innocent. 
    Maldives is a beggar. No no shame they should accept now. Adeeb is not even in the media. Where is that fish.

  19. The Government should be fully responsible to supply water to its residence; this human disaster is the direct result of Government policies. It has been doing everything to attract people to come to this tiny Island and the people don’t have even enough land space for anyone to stand. In this situation no one can do anything as an individual for him to be water sufficient. The only person responsible for this drama is Golhabe, and now his brother is blaming others and trying to hide behind accusation. You know what…; this is just taking for granted the life of half population of this country putting at risk for many such catastrophes. Golha and his gang should resign as they have created an irreversible Maldives. The Maldivian are now at risk of annihilation and there is no better Maldives in sight for many years to come even it survives future unpredictable calamities. Just wake up people! it is the question of your survival, you can’t protect your Islamic identity if you simply go extinct.

  20. I don't think this HEADLINE is correct. On today's press conference Nazim was asked if the donation will be used to repair anything in MWSC to which Nazim first refused to answer directly and at the end he said they will know how to spend the donation when they get it.

    It is not clear for what exactly they are seeking 20 Million USD.

    It was the last question of today's press conference, please listen to the recording and correct this news.

  21. Am i missing something here- the government is saying that it doesn't have 20 million for repairs of a public utility, something is wrong here.
    Where will the money come from if the Singapore hands out a pro GMR judgement.
    We are on real thin ice...

  22. What sucks is that the Saudi and other wealthy Islamic nations could donate the money to the Maldives with their pocket change. But who comes to the rescue? Hindu India and Buddhist Sri Lanka. Why are Muslim countries so un-charitable? Wishing everyone there well. It's my favorite place to holiday.

  23. Rich countries have a fund allocated for poor countries so its not degrading thing to ask all rich countries for help, this is right time for everyone to ask for a donation.


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