Maldives Matter. 

Waste: in the Maldives they can hardly ignore it. The 'luxury' island group produces around 300 million kilos of waste per year. Trouble in paradise. 

The government decided in December of 1991 to use one of its islands as the final destination for the huge amount of waste produced by the tourism industry. The country dug huge pits on a former lagoon named Thilafushi, which became known as "Rubbish Island." Waste was dumped into the middle of the pit, which was topped off with a layer of construction debris and then uniformly levelled with white sand.

Now an average of 330 tons of garbage are brought to Thilafushi every day, mostly from the capital, Malé. The island is also leased out for industrial activities like boat manufacturing, cement packing, methane gas bottling and large-scale warehousing. The government temporarily banned dumping on the island in December 2011 after a major overflow of garbage drifted out to sea. But waste from Malé is still being sent to the island today.

The Maldives are on the front line of climate change. They are the first ones to experience the pain of climate change. Yet nothing is happening. That is because these environmental issues are just symptoms of the real problem: A corrupt political system. We spoke with students, citizens, island inhabitants and many more. They all say the same.

Opposition leader Mohammed Nasheed -who did speak- is now upheld a 13-year prison sentence and had to flee to Britain. Bottom up initiatives showed us that the the locals are working hard for the future of their islands on sustainability and education. I want give them and nature a voice, since they can’t. Therefore, this big shout-out. A window into the problems of The Maldives.

 © 2019 by Bob Hendrikx

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