Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan has called on the government to reopen the closed public water taps in Malé by the end of this week.
Deputy Head of Malé Municipality Mohamed Arif told Minivan News yesterday that all but four of the 19 taps closed because they were “mostly being used by expats [and] not Maldivians.”
The water taps cost the municipality Rf3.5 million (US$270,000) last year, he said.
Today, Nihan said many people were complaining that the municipality’s decision was causing them difficulty.
”Expat or locals, both are human,” he said. ”Water is a basic fundamental right for any human being.”
”We want the government to keep at least eight taps available,” Nihan said, ”so that two are available for each district.”
He said the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standards would not allow a country to keep its public water taps closed.
Nihan said he did not want the water from the taps to be used for car washing or business purposes.
”We are ready to go out on the streets and protest on this issue,” he said. ”If they do not reopen the taps by this week we will come out to the streets and will even take the issue to parliament.”
Nihan said the party was waiting so as to give some time for the government to reverse the decision.
”This shows how incapable and unable the government is to run this country,” he said. “They cannot even manage the public water taps.”
Head of Male’ Municipality Adam Manik said the government “might or might not” reopen four more taps.
”We do not want to know what the DRP wants,” Adam said. ‘We understand what the people want, and so far nobody has complained [to us] that they are having difficulties.”
Adam said there would be enough water available from the four open taps, and that he did not wish to comment on the issue further.
MDP MP Alhan Fahmy also said he did not want to comment on the issue while spokesperson for the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary group, Ahmed Shifaz did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.