The Women’s Development Committees (WDCs) of the seven Baa Atoll ‘Namoona’ islands in partnership with Soneva Namoona NGO and support from their respective island councils, launched a new resale market for Baa Atoll on Saturday. The ‘Alun Balun’ market, currently in its pilot phase, will enable second-hand goods to be sold to the public of the islands of Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, Kihaadhoo, Dhonfanu, Kudarikilu, Kamadhoo and Kendhoo.
The idea behind the market is to foster a culture of re-using goods, instead of throwing them away. The pilot involves establishing an inter-island, secondhand market that will provide access to secondhand goods at reasonable prices, extend the useful life span of products, and reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill.
The WDCs intercept re-usable items from households before they are thrown away, and clean and repair them, where necessary. The items are then sent to the WDC of another Namoona island for re-sale. The rotation of goods among the islands allow the WDCs to overcome the problem of re-selling used items in small communities, as the goods they are selling will be from another island. The WDCs keep the money raised by the sale of the goods.
“What we are starting today in Baa Atoll will create greater opportunities for women in resource conservation while providing the WDCs with an income stream. Even though the Namoona WDCs of Baa Atoll are pioneering this, our hope is that other islands in Baa atoll and beyond will also join this network” said Mariyam Nishreen, from Dhonfanu WDC.
“Soneva Namoona is thrilled to be working with such passionate and ambitious women from the seven Namoona Islands across Baa Atoll on the pressing issue of waste. Collectively focusing our efforts on the reduction of waste generation with the Alun Balun resale market will hopefully inspire us all to think twice before we throw an item away.” said Khady Hamid, Reduce Manager at Soneva Namoona.
The launch of the Alun Balun market happened simultaneously across the seven Namoona islands on Saturday. A second round of the market will take place in Kihaadhoo on 8 October, after which the market will move to a new Namoona island every Saturday.