The Mohamed Muizzu administration has engaged China’s Sinohydro Corporation Ltd. to construct 1,000 housing units on Eydhafushi Island, Baa Atoll, aiming to alleviate the housing concerns of its residents.

The contract, signed by Dr Abdulla Muththalib, Minister of Construction and Infrastructure, on behalf of the Maldives government, signifies a significant step forward in fulfilling a campaign pledge of President Muizzu. During the recent parliamentary elections campaign, the president made a commitment that Eydhafushi would see the most extensive development of housing units under the government’s initiative.

However, the government has maintained discretion over the specifics of the agreement with Sinohydro Corp. and the project.

Housing has remained a primary concern for the inhabitants of Eydhafushi Island. Land plots were last issued to its residents in 1989, and the island’s residents have not received new land plots for the past 34 years.

In 2014, to address the island’s land scarcity, the then-government undertook a land reclamation project, augmenting the island’s area by an additional 26 hectares. However, despite this expansion, the anticipated initiation of housing projects on the newly reclaimed land has yet to materialise, prompting concerns among the island’s residents.

While the government commissioned the development of 1,000 housing units on Wednesday, it also recently commenced the application process for 183 available land plots on the island, signalling a potential transformation in the island’s housing landscape.