The government has launched a nationwide waste and resource management programme under the ‘Magey Saafu Raajje’ banner. The initiative was unveiled at a ceremony held at the Malé Waste Transfer Station, with First Lady Sajidha Mohamed officiating the event.

The programme aims to establish an environmentally friendly and sustainable waste management system, focusing on the outer islands. It invites public participation, thereby fostering a collective responsibility towards waste management.

The government’s strategy includes establishing mechanisms for waste transportation to regional waste management centres and ensuring sustainable waste management practices. The initiative also encompasses training programmes at the island and regional levels, in addition to public awareness campaigns on sustainable waste management practices.

Thoriq Ibrahim, the Minister of Climate Change, Environment and Energy, highlighted the inclusive nature of the initiative. “Today marks the commencement of an inclusive initiative, inviting participation from the general public and private sector in our comprehensive waste management efforts at the island, atoll, and national levels,” he said.

The project, which aims to establish a comprehensive waste management network, is projected to cost the government MVR 6.6 million over the next five years, he added.

The ceremony also marked the official handover of 48 lightweight trucks donated by the Japanese government. These vehicles, to be used as waste collection vehicles, were accepted by Minister Ibrahim on behalf of the government.

The Japanese Ambassador, Takeuchi Midori, handed over the vehicles under a grant project worth US$6.5 million. The donation aligns with the government’s efforts “to build a sustainable and integrated waste management system in the islands,” according to the Japanese Embassy in the Maldives.