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.