Male` City Drowning in Garbage- Several Flaws in the Waste Management System

One of the most luxurious tourism destinations in the world, known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal clear lagoons. This is how the world pictures our geographically unique nation- until they enter our Capital City Male`. It’s saddening to see that Maldives has a literacy rate of over 97% and yet the capital seems to be filled with people who aren’t educated on proper waste management. But it’s not only careless people, but it’s also the absence of a proper waste management system.

With Maldives generating about 365,000 tons of solid waste annually, the management of solid waste is a pressing environmental issue in this popular tourist destination. In 2017, World Bank Board of Directors approved a $17.5 million in financing to help improve solid waste management in selected areas in Maldives. The project was to help Maldives manage its waste in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner, which is key to maintaining Maldives’ position as a premier tourist destination.

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This year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $73.39 million concessional loan and grant to the Government of Maldives to develop a waste treatment facility using waste-to-energy (WTE) technology and disposal infrastructure for the Greater Malé region and neighboring outer islands.

Regardless of these large projects to improve waste management in the country, the Maldives lacks the simplest strategies for effective waste management, and these sure don’t cost a million dollars. This includes dustbins outside every household and a fixed and proper timing to collect waste.

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As per the current situation in Male` City, household waste is taken out and placed outside until it is collected by WAMCO, the official corporation operating the waste management function for Malé Region. It is a common sight to see the waste thrown on the streets by people.

Another frequent complaint is that the garbage truck operated by WAMCO is functioning during the busiest times on the streets. As the roads of the City are narrow, this creates a lot of problems for vehicles, especially for those who are working and have to go somewhere urgently.

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