A little over two years ago, someone saying “atoll development” would have been ludicrous. The 199+ islands that are like natures droplets of emeralds had for long been unsupervised, their basic needs ignored. But today we are witnessing a transitional phase, where the islands are given an equal importance compared to the capital region. Atoll development is flourishing under the current administration’s development policies, and the recent inauguration of the Dhevvadhoo harbor and the newly built Ice Plant along with the Gemanafushi harbor are just some of the examples.
In the past decade, Maldives has gone through a development gap which had halted many ambitious projects from coming to life. A nation which was on a downwards trajectory is now slowly heading uphill, thanks to the governments strenuous efforts to develop the atolls and the capital alike.
Between November 2013 and October 2015, 20 islands witnessed the completion of harbor projects, while works were ongoing in 39 different islands. Shore protection projects were carried out in a total of 8 islands, and road development projects were in progress in 21 islands. While the tally is on the rise, even more projects are being announced and awarded to contractors. Modern day development could finally be tasted by the islanders, who now realize that they are indeed given the importance they deserve.
As the President noted following the inauguration of the Dhevvadhoo harbor, “Today, the people [of Dhevvadhoo] would recognize that they have not been neglected. In fact, it is a matter of progressive and religious duty for us to be thankful and accept our blessings and try to move towards the establishing of services required by citizens. The administration has no bias between people of Male’ and people who are not from Male’; we all are Maldivians belonging to the same race and religion”.
The importance given to implementing water and sewerage systems in the islands are also praiseworthy. As such, 43 projects have been awarded and field work initiated to establish water and sewerage systems in the islands under the current administration. The development projects slowly taking shape around the country are the combined effort of various departments and offices; all showing the result of working in unison.
Like the President’s words, we truly are seeing the islanders flourish with convenient methods of transport and much more. Their dreams of development have now become, more than just a mirage.