The Government of Sri Lanka commenced delivery of drinking water to the Maldivian capital Malé by the evening of 5th December. Malé is facing a severe shortage of drinking water, following a fire on the previous day at its sole water purification plant which disrupted the water supply to the city, and prompted the authorities to declare a "disaster situation." Malé is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and is home to over 100,000 people, being approximately one third of the total population of the Maldives.
The initial consignment of 5.8 metric tonnes of bottled water which arrived on a SriLankan Airlines flight was handed over by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Maldives, Neil Dias to the Maldivian Minister of Defence and National Security, Colonel (Rtd.) Mohamed Nazim. Several high ranking ministers including Dr. Aishath Shiham, Minister of Education, Dr. Mohamed Shainee, Minister of Fisheries & Agriculture, Mr. Mohamed Saeed, Minister of Economic Development and Mr. Thariq Ibrahim Minister of Environment & Energy were also present at the airport to receive the donation. Accepting the emergency relief, Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the people of Sri Lanka for the timely action in this hour of need of the Maldivian people.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in close coordination with SriLankan Airlines has made arrangements to send over 100,000 bottles of drinking water to the Maldives in the next few days. SriLankan Airlines has the highest frequency of flights from any destination in the world to Malé with five daily regular flights. The water will be distributed among the residents of Malé free of charge. The Sri Lankan Government has offered additional assistance to the Maldives to address this crisis situation if required.
Ministry of External Affairs
6th December 2014