Male', 16th June 2019: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is committed to supporting the Government of the Maldives in the drive for sustainable development and fighting risks from Climate Change, says Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary General of the UN and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.
Mr. Xu is on a visit to the Maldives that kicked off on Saturday 15th June. While here, he visited Maduvvaree island, where UNDP is supporting the government in building facilities to provide communities year-round access to safe drinking water.
During his visit to the island, Mr. Xu participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for the installation of a new desalination plant, which will form part of the integrated water management system to provide clean water to string of islands. The project is funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Access to clean fresh water has been declining on several islands due to erratic rainfall patterns, linked to climate change. Along with unsustainable use of water from aquifers, and lack of large water storage facilities, fresh water supplies in islands across islands drop to precipitous levels, in recent years.
Since 2005, more than 81 islands have requested emergency water shipments during the annual dry season. The water is shipped from the capital Male, at considerable costs, which makes timely responses challenging.
The new water system includes: four desalination plants spread across the Maldives, large rainwater harvesting tanks on several key islands, and better management of aquifers. The objective is to create a network of water supply that will provide access to clean water for 49 islands, throughout the year.
“Access to safe and clean water is crucial for the economic growth and wellbeing of the people of the Maldives,” said Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan, the Minister for Environment and Energy. “UNDP has been supporting the government to achieve its development priorities for more than 40 years, and its support in building resilient communities and institutions will help the government in its mission to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Mr. Xu will also be a key speaker at the Governance session at Maldives Partnership Forum: “Investing in a Resilient and Sustainable Maldives,” which runs over two days, June 17-18.
“The vision of the new government clearly recognizes the mandate to anchor Maldives’ development path in robust institutions based on the strong rule of law, which can stand firm against the winds of political challenges,” said Mr. Xu. “This strong rule of law will need to be upheld by an independent judiciary, in which all Maldivian women and men are fully and equally able to participate, whether rich or poor, and wherever they live, in the country.
About the Ministry of Environment and Energy
The Ministry of Environment and Energy is responsible for the formulation and implementation of the Government policies, strategies, regulations and standards for provision of water and sanitation services in the islands of the Republic of Maldives. It is also responsible for the development of the programmes and projects related to water and sanitation sector and the planning and management of all aspects of those projects, including the sustainable development of the sector.
Since the opening of its country office in the Maldives in 1978, UNDP has worked closely with the Government, civil society and other key stakeholders to achieve progress in all areas of human development from democratic governance to poverty eradication, to climate and disaster risk resilience. The UNDP Maldives Country Programme is focused on achieving achievement of two key outcomes: building stronger systems of democratic governance that give citizen a voice in the political process and ensuring that growth and development are inclusive, sustainable, resilient to the effects of climate change and disasters.
About the Green Climate Fund
The Green Climate Fund was established by the 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and given the mandate to fund climate action to limit greenhouse gas emissions and support climate-resilient development.
UNDP Maldives: Makhdhooma Nazim, Partnership Development and Policy Officer | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +960 7789212
Ministry of Environment and Energy: Wilshaana Moosa | Environment Analyst | Email: email@example.com | Tel: +960 3018386
UNDP Maldives: Ahmed Shifaz | Assistant Resident Representative, Resilience and Climate Change Portfolio | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +960 3343 264