At the meeting held on Thursday with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the Fuvahmulah City Council has remarked that a large number of the projects that were pledged for the city during the campaign had already been initiated. The meeting was held online this afternoon.
Speaking during the meeting, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih congratulated the newly-elected members of the city council under the amendments brought to the Decentralisation Act. He stated that all newly-elected council members would have a significant role to play in the success of the government’s future national development plans.
The Mayor of Fuvahmulah City, Ismail Rafeeq, spoke during the meeting on a number of concerns and suggestions for the planned and ongoing development project in the city. In this vein, he entreated the importance of adding fire hydrants and stormwater drainage systems to the ongoing road development project. Council members also requested additional details of the new 30-bed hospital to be established in the city. Upon completion, the hospital would have the capacity to provide the medical diagnostic services which are currently lacking in the city. Technicians would arrive in Fuvahmulah City within the following week to install a point of care (POC) machine for testing for Covid-19. Moreover, the Covid-19 PCR testing machine, provided under a grant from the World Bank, would also be installed in Fuvahmulah City by the end of September 2021.
Further discussions during the meeting included augmentation of the “Gedhoruveriya Loans”, waste management and social issues in the city. Councillors noted the success of the “Gedhoruveriya Loans” scheme, stating that it would greatly help several residents and that the government’s aid is required to address the housing issues faced by residents of the city. President Solih reiterated that the government had allotted an MVR 1.5 billion budget for housing projects to be carried out by the government in the year 2022, to address housing shortages faced by residents of all areas of the Maldives.
The President further stated that the government gave special priority to the issue of proper waste management and legacy waste within Fuvahmulah City, which had been a long-standing problem. President Solih delineated the government waste management projects underway, including the project spearheaded by the Waste Management Corporation Limited (WAMCO), which would address the issue of legacy waste within the city.
The Councillors also discussed several social issues faced by residents of the city, outlining several obstacles faced in creating a safe and amicable social environment. They highlighted difficulties in city policing as well as the issue of not being able to admit victims of drug abuse into proper rehabilitation programmes. President Solih noted that the government would implement a major restructuring of the police service within the next three years, under a national master plan with the reforms introduced in the Maldives Police Service Act. He said that work was already underway to increase the number of police officers in islands outside of the Greater Malé area. He further assured that the availability of effective rehabilitation services for victims of drug abuse would be expanded and improved under the new management of the National Drug Agency (NDA).
President Solih stated that the government would always be ready to aid all city, island and atoll councils and that the government would work with relevant stakeholders to swiftly address all concerns raised by the Councillors.