Smoke emissions from Thilafushi has ceased: President

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated the smoke emissions from Thilafushi, which caused severe air pollution and challenges for residents of Villimale', has ceased since September. He made the remarks while speaking at the launching ceremony for the Greater Male' Waste to Energy Project, which ​is one of the largest waste management initiatives in the Maldives, costing USD 304 million and extending from the Greater Male' Region to Alifu Alifu Atoll and Vaavu Atoll.

Addressing the function, President Solih underscored the unsustainable ways in which the waste collection, transfer, and disposal at the regional waste management facility in Thilafushi had been handled in the past. The president also underscored that proper waste management has always been a challenge for the Maldives, as the islands are remote and dispersed over a wide geographical area, which adds unique challenges to safely transporting waste. He said the project has made significant improvements to how collection, transfer, and disposal of waste are handled in Greater Male' and other areas.

Also at the function, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology Aminath Shauna noted the increase in waste in the country and said the project is one of the largest environmental contracts made in the country's history. The minister said the project is being carried out with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism, Technical Assistance Special Fund, and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). She said the first phase of the project involves establishing waste management systems and equipment in the islands as well as establishing waste transfer stations. She also said the second phase involves establishing a waste energy plant and that a company has been contracted to build and operate the plant for a 15-year period.

Additionally, Minister Shauna said the facility will have the capacity to process 500 tonnes of waste in Thilafushi and generate over eight megawatts of electricity. The minister also said the project is expected to solve a large part of the waste management issues in the country by 2023