No fall back for disaster of this magnitude: President Yameen

President Abdulla Yameen has spoken to the public for the first time regarding the Malé water crisis, saying that there could have been no fall back plan for such a crisis.

“We did not have any fall back plan for any disaster of this magnitude. However, we have done extremely hard work to try and bring the situation back to normal,” said the president.

Remarking that the extremely low odds of such an incident occurring had prevented the state-owned Malé Water and Sewerage Company from making plans to deal with the current situation.

Yameen said that five of the nine panel boards at the MWSC had now been fully repaired, estimating that the relief effort would cost US$20m million.

The Maldives’ capital was plunged into crisis on Thursday (December 4) as a fire at MWSC gutted the desalination plant, leaving 130,000 people without running water, leading to the dwindling of bottled drinking water supplies .

“I am not trying to make any excuses for the disaster at MWSC but the company was formed in the early 1980s. The design of the company and the water demand has changed with the population increase in Male.”

“There should be no difficulties with obtaining drinking water. However, there are problems with getting water for washing up and cleaning for people in high rise buildings,” said Yameen.

Large amounts of fresh water have been supplied via a number of international donors, who were thanked by the president.

“I would like to point out that even after some very difficult times for the foreign relations of the country, many nations are aiding the country in this heart wrenching time.”

The government will look into various ways to prevent such an occurrence maybe by dividing up the water grid by wards.”

Meanwhile, members of the president’s task force have told local media that the problem could not be fixed within a “politically desirable” timeframe.

In an interview with Haveeru, Minister of Defence Mohamed Nazim said that it would take two weeks to completely recover from the crisis, saying that 50 percent of this would be achieved by the end of the week.

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Mohamed Shainee said that, while MWSC has utilised a backup plan after the fire, a completely foolproof system was financially prohibitive.

“If we were to look for a 100 percent foolproof system, it would need to be built far from MWSC – in another area.  This occurred within one year this government came into power. We had been preparing for water security,” Shainee told Haveeru.

Minister at the President’s Office Mohamed Hussain Shareef told Minivan News earlier that the residents of Malé consumed around 14,000 metric tonnes of water a day, with the fully functioning plant able to produce around 20,000 tonnes.

The Maldives National Defence Force, working alongside volunteers from the public and civil society, continues to distribute water brought from abroad and from desalination plants on nearby islands.

Bangladesh became the latest country to announce it would send naval vessels with fresh water and desalination capacity, following the arrival of two Indian ships as well as the expected arrival of the Chinese navy.

The INS Deepak was the latest Indian ship to arrive, with 800 tonnes of water and the capacity to desalinate 200 tonnes per day. Deepak’s arrival follows ten Indian aircraft which have brought regular supplies of fresh water since Friday.

The Maldivian Red Crescent today received the first shipment of 5 tonnes of fresh water today, while the UN in Maldives has said that 180 tonnes stored under its premises in Malé requires treatment before it can be handed to the public.

Related to this story

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

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

Indian aircraft arrives to ease Malé water crisis

Nasheed calls for inquiry into MWSC fire


18 thoughts on “No fall back for disaster of this magnitude: President Yameen”

  1. Maldivians have live through history without dependency even before the time of Asoka and Alexander the Macedonian.

    Why is this geopolitics now??? Love it or Leave it to the Maldivians to mend themselves!

    I am Proud for being a Maldivian and so are the hard working compatriots.

    Just because of half-a-dozen run-on-the-mill and well-to-do rowdies; because their fathers and families sweated-out, do not mean that every Maldivian is in the twilight-zone and a bum!

    Buy back the foreign shares and real Maldivians will be better off running 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 of the opportunity and create mess like right now.

    Leave us to mend ourselves.

  2. @ habeeb

    Best to leave Maldivians to take care of themselves.
    If they can build and run a 7 star tourism, surely they are doing some thing right and they can do a lot more.

  3. @Habibib

    We did. You guys just suck at your job because you have no education and prefer to 'take breaks all the damn time'.

    So, now we're taking charge. If you attack us, we will retaliate.

  4. Who runs MWSC? Who is the majority shareholder?

    It's totally irresponsible to ask for "donations" and put up a figure of US$20 million without a public inquiry into this incident. This is the 21st century and not the days of the Sultan although some may believe it to be!

    There is crucial information that has to be made public:

    o What was the cause of the fire?
    o What's the total cost of the damages?
    o Did MWSC insure any of their key facilities?
    o Are there any other shortcomings in the design and capacity of MWSC?
    o Where did the figure of US$20 million come from?
    o How can such a major incident like this be prevented in the future?

    These questions need to be probed and answered through a competent and independent technical body and not by the government's "task force". The point of the exercise is not to lay blame on any party, but to learn from this and ensure such incidents are not repeated again. As an example, that's how the civil aviation industry works worldwide.

    Otherwise, any money donated or poured into this will go into lining the pockets of corrupt officials. There will be no guarantees that the public will not face another disaster like this.

  5. Accidents happen, emergencies have to be faced.

    This situation has made the country really show its true colours.

    1: the selfish nature of individuals.
    2: the racism within.
    3: the rabid nature of the people, politicising to create contempt towards the institutions.
    4: the institutions are made up of same maldivians, who given the first opportunity, would start barking at the other institutions, for their lack of preparedness.

    For a country to prosper, the people need to educated and consider the other fellow people as humans, and not animals.

    If this had happened in Anni's presidency, I wouldn't be surprised the Seykus parading the streets, equating the accident to a curse from above, due to his irreligious views. And the sad thing is maldivians would believe the Seykus.

  6. @Habibib STOP fooling yourself like this! ENOUGH of your idiosyncrasies and stupidness! IF NOT for all the EXPATS working in the resorts, EVEN IN locally owned resorts, the Tourism Industry would have just been destroyed by now!

    Yes, we Maldivians are intelligent and effective, BUT we have massive problems - LACK of Vision, NOT keen to do hard & effective work, EXTREMELY LETHARGIC, JUST NOT bothered about the country BUT about themselves!

    This is the time we need everyone's help. As they say, If you do NOT know anything nice to say, DON'T SPEAK! JUST SHUT UP!

    Don't try to politicize it OR create more problems for all concerned with your stupid remarks, whereby NOBODY helps us in an hour of crisis!

    Let us think about HOW we make sure that such a PROBLEM NEVERS comes up again, with a VISION to have a PLan B, when one system fails , having a Crisis management plan IF BOTH systems fail, rather than wasting your time & energy in being seen as a XENOPHOBIC or having FALSE MALDIVIAN EGO MADNESS!

  7. @ Ali Rameez

    You definitely fall into number 3: that you mentioned. So revealing

  8. This time the President is wrong by keeping quiet, taking too much time abroad before responding to this water crisis, and also Rilwan's case.

    Good work from Nazim at least has been communicating to the public in genuine faith.

    Umar Naseer should not be allowed to speak on such issues as his body language alone is abusive, and its just another platform for him to be heard.

    No politics in this issue so let us all work together and get back life to normal. if it were Ebola in Maldives, what would we do?

  9. the problem with all you commenters is that you think Yameen and his govt genuinely cares what you think.

    You all have elected a born dictator who have paved and who will continue to pave his own path over the rights of the people, the institutions and even the constitution to make his ends meet.

    Just remain in whatever condition they put you in, with or without water, functioning govt, a constitution etc and don't confuse yourself by being in a dream state where your mind thinks you deserve anything more than what you are getting now. accept the harsh reality of today and you will be instantly enlightened.

    Come on say what you want to say, you all know Nothing will happen! if they want to siphon off the $20 million fund into PPM campaign budget and pay for the power plant from insurance, they will do that without blinking twice about what people think. And we will not know what happened. they will spin it!

    and funny part is, when the next election comes, they will spin this machine so much so it will give majority a moral conscience headache, and all will end up finally accepting that infamous Mfr 500 and cast a vote to these people all over again!

    you all know this is true. so lets give it a rest.

  10. Dear Mr. Shame, thanks for your comments.! But that is how we do it in Maldives. That is why the whole world respect us and like to help us. We have the Maldivian way of doing our fish, our resorts and now attending to crisis "The Maldivian Way". Isn't that comforting? However much there are differences and criticize each other we still do a better job than most in the world. That is the "Maldivian Way".

  11. Habibib, welcome to earth!
    Let me inform you, although you'll deny the truth, the vast majority of the world doesn't even know which continent The Maldives belongs to.

    Those who do know, most only have the image of palm trees, beaches and clear blue water, but have no clue about the culture, population, politics, ...

    Those who do know about the culture, most don't really think that much of the Maldivian culture, at best they see The Maldives as their cute naive baby sister and they'll take care of her if she needs help.

    Those who do think much of The Maldivian culture, definitely don't do so because of "The Maldivian Way". They do so because there are many respectful people out there who are much better than those who do it "The Maldivian Way".

    Thank you for reading.

  12. "A disaster of this magnitude".. How can he say that without bursting out laughing?

  13. @Hussain Afeef has summed up the situation faced by this country perfectly. Nothing more to add...

  14. @ Hussain Afeef

    Definitely right. When President Nasheed was in power there was a 100% water crisis contingency plan in MWSC. President Nasheed forsaw that such a water crisis could happen, that's why he spent day and night and designed and implemented a completely fool proof plan to stop a water crisis from happening. But when PPM govt came to power, they got rid of Presidents Nasheed brilliant and imaginary plan which is why the crisis happened. If Presidents Nasheed's imaginery plan that he had implemented to prevent water crisis from ever happening in Male' had been put into place, then water crisis would not have happened. However, we must remember that a lot of this imaginary plan of President Nasheed was actually not done, and ey, im contradicting myself arent I ? An imaginary plan when he was in power ?..... And MDP govt didnt have any emergency water backup plan in case an accident at MSWC happened ? But just because MDP govt didnt have any backup plans, that doesnt mean that MDP cant criticise PPM for having contingency backup plans right ? That politics right ! And in any case MDP Govt did sell shares to Hitachi right ? That must have been a move to improve the water quality and standards at MWSC right ? Then why didnt the foreign company make any investments into MWSC ? Anyway, MDP govt is not at fault; clearly we should give the presidency to Barbapapa or Banana's in Pyjamas. Whats that you say imaginary voice in my head ? We cant handover govt of Maldives without an election ? well, barnacles...

  15. @Habib

    What a fool.Probably you believe Maldivians are the chosen race by GOD

  16. Whats next food crisis.. ?? they even can't handle this.

    take a jet do some shopping and fix it.. why lankan air force has to do it.. its joke.. 7 hotels


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