A green public lighting has commenced in Hoadedhoo, Gaaf Dhaalu atoll which will replace ninety street and harbor lights with LED lights, and power twenty of these with solar energy.
The project titled ‘Improving efficiency in municipal street lighting and public space lighting in Hoadedhoo’ will also place 24 new streetlights in a recently populated area of the island .
Additionally, through this project a study will also be carried out to identify carbon emission contributions at houses and in other institutions on the island, with programmes being held to create renewable energy awareness in the community.
To initiate the project an inception workshop was held from 16 -17 May and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Hoadedhoo Council and Huvadhoo Aid – the implementing organisation.
The project, worth US$73,750 is jointly funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) (US$48,700) and Huvadhu Aid (US$18,210) with contributions from the council and community (US$6,840).
Huvadhoo Aid is a Hoadedhoo based civil society organisation focused on rural socio-economic development and improving quality of life in Gaafu Alifu and Gaafu Dhaalu atolls. Initially established 1987, the organisation now has over 270 members.
GEF is an independent financial organisation consisting of a partnership between 183 countries which works with international institutions, civil society organisations, and the private sector to address global environmental issues.
Government-owned fisheries company Koodoo has been tasked with providing ferry services in Gaaf Alif and Gaaf Dhaal atolls on a temporary basis, according to local media reports.
In March 2013, the transport ministry terminated an agreement with Trinus-CAE Holdings Pvt Ltd to provide public transport in the two atolls following interruptions in the service.
The private company was contracted to provide ferry services in November 2009 under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy of the ousted Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) government.
A nationwide transport network was one of five main pledges of the previous government.
In October 2012, the MDP-majority Gaaf Dhaal Atoll Council accused Trinus-CAE of ceasing ferry services and asked the transport ministry to cancel the agreement with the company.
The council said in a statement at the time that it was receiving a number of complaints from citizens inconvenienced by the unavailability of ferry services.
“The council believes that since the company that provides this service in the atoll has been given an uninhabited island [under the PPP programme] and continues to reap benefits from the island, the public should receive adequate services,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director at the Transport Ministry Abdulla Shakeeb told newspaper Haveeru today that ferry services will resume on Saturday (June 22) with five boats and the same ticket prices of MVR 25 for inter-atoll transport and MVR 50 between the two atolls.
Shakeeb said the government would make an announcement in the near future seeking a party to offer ferry services in the two southern atolls. He added that the ministry expected the bidding process to be completed in the next six months.
According to Sun Online, Deputy Transport Mahdhy Imad said at a ceremony held today to sign the agreement with Koodoo that the government would cover the cost of providing the service if the fisheries company was unable to do so. The government would however not provide any finances for Koodoo to commence the ferry service, he added.