The United Nations in the Maldives has commended relief efforts during the Malé water crisis, though the opposition has attacked the governments preparedness and subsequent handling of events.
In a press release today, the UN in Maldives commended the “outstanding response” of the government, noting that measures were also being taken to address the needs of vulnerable and special needs population.
“The situation does not warrant any humanitarian assistance at the moment. UN is working with the Government to monitor closely that there will be no deterioration of the situation,” the statement continued.
The President’s Office announced today that the closure of government offices would continue for the rest of the week, while offers of foreign assistance have continued to pour in.
Meanwhile, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) condemned government efforts – in particular the decision to continue billing residents for water usage.
“Water should be provided free of charge until the water crisis is resolved,” said Rozaina while speaking at an MDP press conference.
Minister of Defense Colonel (retired) Mohamed Nazim said this morning that the Malé Water and Sewerage Company’s (MWSC) board of governors have decided to implement a 30 percent discount on water transactions for the month of December.
Addressing the public for the first time during the crisis yesterday, President Abdulla Yameen noted that getting water supplies to the upper floors of buildings had been problematic.
MWSC’s decision contradicts a company statement released two days ago (December 6) saying customers would not be charged until the current crisis is over in order to provide relief for the ground floor level residents who have been donating water.
MWSC charges a progressive rate on the water usage, which rises as the usage increases over a MVR30 fixed monthly charge. The rate can go as high as MVR95 per cubic meter when usage increases over 500 liters.
Nazim also revealed governments plans to set up a ‘Malé water crisis management fund’ to collect donations in order to recover the MVR300 million (US$20 million) spent on the management of the crisis.
Rozaina criticised the estimated figure of US$20 million by saying that the MDP demanded a technical viewpoint on the damages and an explanation of why US$20 million is required for the repairs. The party has asked whether MWSC’s facilities were insured.
An unnamed Saudi Arabian has already donated US$ 1 million to the fund while local business group Champa Brothers pledged to provide US$100,000.
The MDP has also slammed the government’s failure to give a set date for the resumption of normal services, with members of the president’s task force telling local media yesterday that the issue could not be solved within a “politically desirable” timeframe.
Continuing its extensive relief efforts, Indian navy fleet tanker INS Deepak arrived yesterday bringing with it 1,250 tons of water. The water was then pumped to tanks in Malé through 400 meters of pipe.
The ship – which also has RO capabilities – is now at anchorage near Malé where it be producing 100 tons of water per day which will then be transported to the capital via barges.
Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives, MR Rajeev Shahare – speaking aboard INS Deepak yesterday – said that the Indian government had offered technical assistance with the repairs which was refused by the government saying that they are consulting a Japanese firm.
So far, 10 Indian military airplanes have landed at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) bringing with them more than 200 tons of water.
State Bank of India (SBI) also joined relief efforts today, distributing 7.5 tons of water.
A Chinese vessel which arrived last night capable of producing 90 tons of water per day delivered 600 tons of water today to the capital. Two Chinese military flights landed last night with 40 tons of water in between them.
A Bangladeshi military vessel with 5 desalination plants and one hundred tonnes of water is also due to arrive on Thursday (December 11).
Meanwhile, President’s Office Spokesperson Ahmed Muaz announced today hat the government has decided to close all its offices in Malé for the rest of the week after considering the difficulties people could face as a result of the current water problems in Malé.
Muaz noted said that the President’s Office will be open from 10 am to 1pm,while the Maldives Monetary Authority has also announced that it and other banks will be between 11am to 2pm to provide banking services for the public.
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8 thoughts on “UN Maldives commends government’s response in water crisis, opposition condemns”
Slowly, but surely, the dark truth is emerging.
o MWSC is an "A" grade company and is fully insured. No government funds are necessary to repair damages to MWSC.
o US$20 million is needed to pay for the "disaster" management programme.
If this "disaster" is estimated to last 10 days, a 5 year old can figure out that US$2 million is asked by the "management" for handling this crisis!
With all the donations of water from India, Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh etc, isn't one justified in asking where this US$20 million is going? Can the "task force" explain this? The public needs to know.
The UN needs to re-evaluate the Governments performance! There is no running water in residential buildings and bottled drinking water is not available for purchase in shops. This should be the bare minimum level f service!
Why does the UN always have its nose stuck up Maldives gov's butt? Next they'll be handing over the $20 million for Yameen, Adeeb, and company to use for trips abroad, booze and whores. The water system will get the standard half ass Maldivian fix. And the infrastructure will continue to crumble. It's good to be the king!
Goverment or MWSC will not understand pain of people.
Truly GOD is punishing MWSC for its staff's inefficiency , ignorance and selfish nature.
Now begging. UN cannot help this type of ungrateful nation. Why our leaders cannot have national policy.
Water is basic requirement. MWSC made money for so many year. No plan to face disaster. This government and MWSC is becoming extremely disgusting. Now Maldives heart is smelling. Do not know if Hassan Saeed (BDM of MWSC) stil using fresh water to wash his back.
Ohhh. Where is brother Adeeb. No to be seen anywhere.
His untruthful mouth must be smelling now.
Did china give anything.
Eventually India, Sri Lanka gave helping hand.
Now yamin must be very upset.
Get us and live in real world. Before bridge give food, water, clothing and shelter to people.
UN's effort is great.
Yea China did give support, read the article. Of course they're a bit further away, so it's obviously easier for India to help out first.
The reaction of the government was ok, nothing special though. What is not acceptable is there was no backup plan and that joker Yameen says it's not possible for a disaster of this magnitude.
It's a shame that UN only contributed by providing rain water and was not involved in the delivery of immediate relief, when other international organisations such as Red Crescent was seen actively involved in delivering the much needed relief. Surely, the UN would have a mandate to overlook our contingency plans. What has the UN achieved in terms of Disaster Risk Reduction in the Maldives?, is a question that the public needs an answer. The reason why we have achieved a normalcy from the water crisis is due to the role of the State in collaboration with the civil Society.UN IN MALDIVES IS BOTH DYSFUNCTIONAL AND CORRUPT.
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