President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said during the first three years of his presidency, water and sanitation projects will be launched in all the islands.
President Solih said this while speaking to the people of K. Dhiffushi on Saturday, during his first official visit to an island after taking oath.
The president said only 34 islands currently have water services while 66 islands have sanitation services. He said the rate of basic services available to people are low compared to the country’s income. Hence, it is his aim to launch water and sanitation projects in all lacking islands, during the first three years of his term.
“Clean drinking water and sanitation are fundamental rights of every citizen, and it is one of our pledges. We will, by the Grace of God, provide these two basic necessities to all the citizens of the country by the end of our 5-year term”, President Solih said.
He said USD 102 million has been put in next year’s budget to fulfil the pledges. Thus, through this, sanitation services in 72 islands, and water services in 56 islands will be established, he said.
Touching on the development of Dhiffushi, President Solih said during his campaign visit to the island, the people had shared their concerns including land reclamation, upgrading their health centre to include a laboratory, building a football stadium and providing an easy way to get loans for housing. Out of these, upgrading the health centre plus building a laboratory and building a football stadium has been included in next year’s budget.
Work on the SME Bank, which would provide ‘Lui Loan’ for construction and housing needs, is being carried out swiftly, he said.
Thanking the ‘Ali Fulhu Thuthu Foundation (AFT Foundation) which established the water and sanitation service in Dhiffushi, President Solih said this will ease many difficulties for the people of the island and is one of the major developmental steps taken by the island.
According to the foundation, they were given the project on March 9, 2017 and the services have been established to accommodate 2700 people, although the population of the island is 1300.