The Maldivian government has announced plans to build 30,000 social housing units in Rasmale’, with significant backing from China. Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development, Dr Ali Haidar Ahmed, in a recent interview with the media, confirmed that the construction of these units will commence concurrently.
This initiative is part of a broader engagement with China, as evidenced by the signing of 20 agreements, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) focused on the Rasmale’ project. The MoU inked on Wednesday encompasses not only the construction of housing units but also the establishment of crucial infrastructure such as water and sanitation facilities and the development of road networks.
Launched on December 18, the Rasmale’ project entails an extensive land reclamation effort, aiming to transform 1,093 hectares of the Fushi Dhiggaru Falhu. This project is a testament to the Maldives’ commitment to solving its urban housing challenges through innovative and large-scale solutions.
The project has been contracted to Sri Lanka’s Capital Marine and Civil Construction Company (CMCC), marking a regional collaboration in this developmental endeavour. The reclamation works alone are expected to cost a minimum of USD 500 million. However, in a unique financial arrangement, CMCC will bear the project costs in exchange for a long-term lease of 70 hectares of land. This includes 10 hectares from Hulhumale’ for 49 years and 60 hectares from Rasmale’ for a 50-year lease.
The Rasmale’ project stands as a significant undertaking not only for its scale but also for its strategic partnerships and innovative financing models. It represents a bold step by the Maldivian administration towards sustainable urban development and social welfare. The support from China highlights the collaborative spirit in tackling the challenges of housing and infrastructure in the region.
This development is particularly noteworthy in the context of the Maldives’ ongoing efforts to modernise and expand its urban infrastructure. The MoU with China, covering various sectors, including fisheries and road development, indicates a comprehensive approach to national development. As the Maldives continues to navigate its path towards modernisation and enhanced living standards, projects like Rasmale’ are set to play a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s future.