Maldives Launches Awareness Raising Campaign on Water and Sanitation

Male, Maldives – The Ministry of Environment and Energy launched a new “FENFAHI” national awareness campaign to sensitise the public to better water management and sanitation practices. The initiative was unveiled at the occasion of World Water Day 2017. The goal of the campaign is to inform, educate and strengthen the capacities of the individual(s) and communities and establish networks to manage and sustain water resources, water supply and sewerage systems.

The campaign will evolve around the themes of water security and safety, water supply as a natural cycle, the different sources of water and storage, the threats to water sources and water security, the impacts of climate change on water, the true cost of water and willingness to pay, the water supply and sewerage systems and the safety of drinking water produced.

There are 5 main objectives for the campaign:

  • Improve awareness and engagement of government officials and donor agencies and coordinated activities related to water resources, water supply and sewerage systems management.
  • Educate Youth to drive Maldives towards a water secure future.
  • Improve community’s commitment to water resources, water supply and sewerage systems management.
  • Encourage active involvement of businesses and industries in water management.
  • Building adequate capabilities in Maldives to enable Integrated Water Resource Management

The IWRM AIO SIDS project is supporting several campaign activities including the ones related to the objective on “Building adequate capabilities in Maldives to enable Integrated Water Resource Management”. Activities will include, and are not limited to, workshops on rainwater harvesting best practices, training for farmers on groundwater pollution from the misuse of agrochemical, local communities consultations on water and sanitation issues, development of awareness materials and distribution of water testing kits to school.

Watch the video produced by the Ministry for the launch:

The Maldives consists of 1,190 small, low-lying coral islands spread over 90,000 square kilometres. As it is the case in many small island developing states, water is a scarce resource in the Maldives. Rainfall is the main source of potable water for many of the island communities in the country.  Relying on rainwater supplies has become a challenge with the changes in rainfall patterns and extended dry periods; approximately about 80 island communities request for emergency water supplies each year.

Apart from rainwater being the main source of water for drinking and cooking, ground water is predominantly used for other daily needs. However, the condition of ground water has deteriorated in most of the islands due to inefficient management and climate change induced impacts such as sea level rise (3.1 mm/year), storm surges and tidal waves.

The 5 year campaign is part of the efforts by the current government to address these water and sanitation challenges and to integrate the capacity building and awareness raising activities from different water and sanitation projects under one common umbrella. This will ensure a streamlined approach to respond to the government priorities while avoiding duplication of initiatives.

Significant developments have taken place in the national water and sanitation sector as new, more environmentally friendly water supply and sewerage projects are being implemented in many islands, thanks to increased finances from the Government and additional support from development agencies and donors.

Maldives recently secured 23.6 million USD from the Green Climate Fund to establish integrated water resources management systems that integrate the three main sources of water (rainwater, groundwater, and desalinated water) into a least cost delivery systems on 49 outer islands. 

For more information about the campaign, contact:

– Aishath Shiura, Communication Officer at the Ministry of Energy and Environment of the Maldives,
– Zameela Ahmed, IWRM Plan Development Consultant at the Ministry of Energy and Environment of the Maldives,