This article originally appeared on The Edition.
The Ministry of Environment announced a national program to remove litter across of Maldives set to commence on December 8.
During a press conference held Thursday, Minister of Environment Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan revealed that the initiative named “Saafu Raajje, Aharenge ves zimma” which loosely translates to ‘Clean Maldives, my responsibility too”, will be officially started off by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
It is one of the ‘100 days’ pledges made by the president and his newly sworn-in administration.
The event is scheduled to take place on the turf grounds from 0730 hours to 1030 hours, and is planned to simultaneously take place in all regions of Maldives.
Declaring that waste is one of the most prominent issues faced by the nation, Minister Hussain said that in order to tackle the problem it is paramount better achieve the goal of a cleaner Maldives.
The minister stressed on the importance of coral reefs to an island nation like Maldives. Stating that in order to preserve islands, the health of surrounding reefs must also be protected he added that in order to do so, people must first stop treating the ocean like a rubbish heap.
“Islands, by their very nature, are a product of coral reefs. Preservation of islands is made possible by the protection afforded by the surrounding reefs, and the sand it produces,” said the minister.
“Hence, we must stop dumping waste on to our reefs. It is necessary that we assume responsibility for the waste that we produce, far more than we do so now,” he said.
Minister Hussein Rasheed also highlighted the issue of waste ownership and responsibility as a matter of etiquette that should be taught and encouraged widely.
The mayor of Male City Council Shifa Mohamed added to the statement, dubbing the event an excellent opportunity to beautify the island. Noting that it is school holidays, she called out to the student community to participate in the activity.
Stating that the act of littering should be one that shifts societal perspectives negatively on the offender, she urged citizens to make efforts to reduce their waste as well as stop disposing waste on roads and other public areas.