The people of China’s Xizang Autonomous Region have donated 1,500 tonnes of mineral water to the Maldives, a heartfelt gesture that is seen as supporting the island communities during water shortages. The official handover of the water shipment to the Maldivian people was made by Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin and received on behalf of the Maldivian government by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer.

Expressing gratitude for the support and friendship of the people of Xizang, Zameer stated, “Grateful to receive 1,500 tonnes of mineral water from the people of Xizang Autonomous Region, PRC. This generous donation will greatly support our island communities during water shortages.”

During the handover ceremony, Zameer emphasised that providing safe drinking water to all islands is a high priority for the current administration. He highlighted the scarcity of drinking water storage options in the Maldives, which depends on desalinating saltwater for drinking. The water shipment will be provided to outer islands during water shortages, said Zameer.

Ambassador Wang expressed elation for being able to make the donation, stating, “Very happy to see the premium water from 5,100-metre-high glaciers, donated by Xizang Autonomous Region of China, has travelled across mountains and sea and arrived in Malé, which shows the profound friendship of China people toward Maldives people and the great achievement made by Xizang people.” She revealed that the price of the water shipment was approximately MVR 21.3 million.

The water shipment donated from China is planned to be supplied to the outer islands during the dry season, when they run out of safe drinking water, according to the foreign ministry. The donation was pledged by the Chairman of the Xizang Autonomous Region during a November 2023 visit to the Maldives.