US$6.5 million waste management system launched for four northern atolls

A US$6.5 million waste management system for Raa, Baa, Lhaviyani and Noonu atolls was launched by Environment Minister Mariyam Shakeela at a ceremony in Raa Dhuvafaru last Saturday.

Sun Online reported that under the “Maldives Environment Protection Project,” waste gathered from the four atolls is to be carried to Raa Vandhoo, an uninhabited island, for combustion through an environment-friendly method of incineration.

Raa Vandhoo is three to four hours by dhoni (tradional boat) from the 46 inhabited islands of the four northern atolls.

Under the first phase of the project, waste collected from Raa Dhuvafaru, Baa Eydhafushi, Lhaviyani Hinnavaru, Lhaviyani Naifaru and Noonu Manadhoo would be transported to the incinerator in Vandhoo on barges.

Speaking at Satuday’s ceremony, Environment Minister Shakeela said the regional waste management system would be fully established by the end of 2013, making it the first operational waste management system of its kind in the country.

The four atolls targeted in the project has a combined population of 43,539 people, 226 uninhabited islands, 14 resorts, 15 islands leased for resort development, and 9 industrial islands. An environment ministry survey discovered that the four atolls produce 52 tons of waste daily.