Is the Maldives really an ideal poster boy for climate change: Asia News Network

Anyone who has been to the capital Male’ would have an impression that all the country’s efforts to combat climate change are doomed to fail, writes Jofelle Tesorio in Asia News magazine.

“Even the basic element of sanitation in this crowded capital seems wanting. There are no trash bins on the island and the streets are littered with plastics, bottles and other rubbish. The heavy use of bottled water is owed to the fact that the country doesn’t have its own water source. Water comes from desalination plants.

“Unabashed building constructions continue and there is no indication that the residents are willing to give up on
using smoke belching motorcycles and cars because they are seen as status symbol. In fact, despite the narrow streets, choking parking areas and high import tax on vehicles, people still buy cars and motorbikes.
“Only migrant Bangladeshis use bicycles, which is usually a source of mockery among Maldivians. Male’ doesn’t have a centralised sewage treatment plant that cleans the sewage before pumping it out to the sea. This scenario is definitely in contrast with the overall perception of the Maldives as a premier high-end destination with pure and pristine nature.

“About 330 tonnes of garbage make it to Thilafushi Island, known as the ‘Rubbish Island’, each day. Only a handful of the 190 resorts in the Maldives have their own recycling facility and sewage treatment plants.”

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