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Page added on June 25, 2011

Letter on Thilafushi pollution

We appreciate the efforts all of you have contributed in reporting news and events all over the country. Your reports on politics, social welfare, education, environment are well covered and appreciated, however, there are various key areas that the media has been lax in exploiting.

I live close to the new police complex in Galolhu, and just like hundreds of other people, I go jogging at the track close by every day. If you pay a visit to the track around 7:30pm when all the lights on the track are lit, you will see the whole sky whitened with a fog. TOXIC SMOKE from the burning of garbage on Thilaafushi.

It is becoming impossible to use the track and the football grounds between 6:00pm and 11:00pm due to this air pollution, in addition to the excruciating garbage smell from ‘the Male waste collection yard next to the grounds. Air pollution in Male is at unacceptable level, and presumably it is due to mis-management of waste in Male and in Thilaafushi through prevailing means of disposal. The public is exposed to excessive toxic fumes, and more worrying and annoying is to see small school kids engaged in athletics while at the same time inhaling all the toxic residues.

A closer look at the water on the beaches in Thilaafushi it is contaminated with all kind of toxins. The amount of insects and pests ranging from rodents, flies is extremely too much and resorts close by are facing the worst fly infestations ever. Food poisoning due to contaminated fish is a common thing on Thilaafushi, and also in Male. Irrespective of government advice, fishermen still get fish from polluted reefs and waters surrounding Thilafushi and Male’.

Media is one of the strongest means of public awareness and communication. As you continue educating the public on waste management and proper sanitation, we request you to expose facts on negligence or improper management of waste, relay public concerns over health risks connected to this pollution, and maybe start a campaign to ban the sale of fish taken from waters surrounding Thilaafushi and Male’.

Hospitals and clinics are full with people suffering from bacterial and viral illnesses. Ecoli is already reported last week, dengue is on the rise, and surprisingly, Maldives has seen the deaths of very young kids and teenagers to chronic cancers, and illnesses related to lungs, kidney, liver, etc. I mean, as a concerned parent it worries me not to know reasons for such. Probably its time the government invests or seeks professional assistance in research on ‘the health side effects of living around air polluted environment for long. What could be the problems that may arise decades later or are the medical issues faced today related to this pollution?

Please take some time and visit the jogging track any evening after 7:30 to experience it for yourself. Once again, thank you for all the media work.

Edward, a concerned resident of Male’

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5 Comments on "Letter on Thilafushi pollution"

  1. well said edward on Sun, 26th Jun 2011 10:40 AM 

    well said edward, i couldnt agree more with you. the situation is extremely alarming and nothing has been done ever. as if human life is worth nothing here the public is doing nothing. they go on the streets for stupid political issues but an issue like this is forgotten easily.
    i like the way you have addressed the issues please keep on writing coz male has 1000 more issues which is alarming.

  2. Pollution on Sun, 26th Jun 2011 10:45 AM 

    well written edward, couldnt agree more.
    the issues mentioned are alarming. not to mention the pollution in male with all the motor vehicles. when will the so called “green, zero carbon” government do something. still motobikes getting registered easily. still no pollution taxes are implemented. male should be the most expensive city to run motor vehicles. only than the public will rather have a walk than taking the bike. also pedestrian roads should be established, means roads which are completely closed for motor traffic. we cant even walk without beeing endangered by a car or bike.wake up male, our life is getting destroyed and our polititians do nothing.

  3. naju on Mon, 27th Jun 2011 8:55 AM 

    I totally agree with Edward and thank you so much bringing this issue…..

    But very unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any responsible authority is listening to such important issues that give hazardous loss to the Peoples’ Health..now we have got already laws that are required to enforce such issues but we don’t see anyone doing the Enforcement part which I believe much important than existing a law..Before we were always blaming the Majlis! We have the laws related to the issue but we see people spitting around freely…..if we talk about the dirty looking guys at our food catering industry, especially in the Kitchens My God! we would vomit on the spot. But did you see any enforcement work in progress????

    We are a country trying to change like an Evolution theory….Or expecting things to happen just by convincing the people…I think this is an old and DANGEROUS concept of changing bad habit…For bad habits or crimes like murder, traffic violence, road-gang activities and cleanliness of the environment, especially at the food-catering industry we have to impose penalties and punishments…Look at Singapore! they did not achieve it by only praying for that like what we are doing here but they did it by imposing penalties and punishments..

    So, why are we wasting time by making experiments????

  4. Derek Postance on Mon, 27th Jun 2011 2:47 PM 

    Waste is difficult to contain in an environment such as the Maldives. During a stay on Baros one year, when the wind/current were in a certain combination one day, a constant stream of plastic and other floating waste was directed at one side of the island. Seaborne plastic will outlive the Maldives tourist industry by hundreds of years..check out the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” on the internet to see what CAN happen if the problem is not dealt with now.

  5. engr.abdul gafur on Sat, 25th Feb 2012 8:40 PM 

    garbage’s should not be burnt .it will pollute air and create many serious diseases as the polluted air inhaled. it is better to recycle the garbage’s, if the garbage are allowed to decomposed good quality of manure may be had.public awareness is important. as Maldives is not an industrialised country , is possible to make pollution free. thnx editor for timely and nice article.


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