Former President Mohamed Nasheed has called for an inquiry into the fire at the Malé Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC) on Thursday (December 4) that caused the capital’s ongoing water supply crisis.
“We absolutely need an inquiry, an investigation, right now [in order to find out] how this happened,” the opposition leader said at a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally in Haa Alif Dhidhoo last night.
The public should be duly informed about the efforts of the ministerial task force formed by President Abdulla Yameen to resolve the crisis and given a date for resumption of water supply services, he added.
The MWSC cut off water supply in Malé after underground cables connecting the switch room and generator caught fire, causing damage to the reverse osmosis plant used to produce desalinated water.
Nasheed said the Danish government had advised MWSC to keep 21-days worth of water supply in reserve after completing a project to provide water to Malé.
The water crisis was caused by President Yameen appointing “thug activists” to the MWSC after dismissing experienced and qualified staff at the company, Nasheed contended.
The MDP government had a plan to deal with similar situations as well as natural disasters, Nasheed said, asserting that the crisis would have been resolved in 24 hours under his administration.
Of the 2 meters of annual rainfall in the capital, Nasheed observed that less than half was collected for use.
He went on to express gratitude to police and military officers for their efforts in assisting residents of the capital as well as the Indian government for promptly responding to pleas for assistance.
Referring to reports of foreigners denied water at collection points, Nasheed called on President Yameen to apologise to expatriates residing in the capital.
President Yameen’s “biggest failure” was his administration’s foreign policy, he continued, which he said should not be biased in favour of any particular country.
Nasheed also repeated his criticism of President Yameen “ruling in absentia” and called on the president to disclose his alleged health problems to the public.
Briefing the press this morning, Defence Minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim urged the opposition to refrain from “politicising” the crisis.
The Maldives Police Service has meanwhile launched an investigation into the fire incident at MWSC. Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed has reportedly tasked a special team with the investigation.
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