WHO Maldives partners in nationwide “Saafu Raajje- Clean Maldives” Campaign launched by HE Ibrahim Mohamed Solih; President of Maldives
8th December 2018 - President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has today launched the National Cleaning Exercise, as pledged in his “First 100 Days Goals”, by clearing the garbage around the Maafannu Stadium. WHO Maldives supported and participated in the event.
Vice President Faisal Naseem, Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, The Cabinet including Minister of Health HE Abdulla Ameen along with State Ministers of Health Dr. Shah Abdullah Mahir and Mr. Mohamed Zuhair, Male City Mayor Ms. Shifa Mohammed, senior delegates of the Government, Dr Arvind Mathur, WHO Representative and representatives from NGOs and the private sector were amongst the large number of participants at the day’s event.
Delivering his remarks at the launching event, His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih appealed to Maldivians to contribute to this national campaign and take on their personal responsibility of keeping the Maldives clean. He pointed out that our household waste mostly consists of single-use plastic than organic waste and urged everyone to strive to eliminate single-use plastic from their daily lives.
The President further noted that the shortcut to waste management is actually minimizing it and encouraged everyone to adopt a minimal-waste lifestyle. He also stated that the administration’s aim is to introduce an environment friendly method of waste disposal.
Dr. Arvind Mathur WHO Representative was also amongst the esteemed speakers at the event, whom highlighted three important points; the importance of eliminating mosquito breeding site to eliminate mosquito-borne diseases, the impact of improper waste management on health and the criticality of community responsibility towards a cleaner Maldives.
“As Excellency President called for “Saafu-Raajje- My Responsibility”- Let us all decide that we will, not only as “Responsible Citizens” but as the Role Models and Champions- will take this momentum forward for a “Clean Maldives, Smart Maldives” highlighted the WHO Representative in his remarks.
Improper waste management can have negative impacts on both environment and public health. Negative impacts can be due to different handling and disposal activities resulting in soil, water and air pollution. Measures to ensure the safe and environmentally sound management of health care wastes can prevent adverse health and environmental impacts from such waste including the unintended release of chemical or biological hazards, including drug-resistant microorganisms, into the environment thus protecting the health of patients, health workers, and the general public. Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Their ability to carry and spread disease to humans causes millions of deaths every year.
Well-organized and vigorous street cleaning campaigns such as ‘#SaafuRaajje’ will remove discarded water-bearing containers, clean drains and pockets of water. This campaign will also reduce dengue mosquitoes, infections and also remove other urban pests. Such approaches also contribute to improving the overall sanitation situation in the country and prevent water and food borne illnesses. Provision of safe water, Sanitation and hygiene is also critical in the prevention and care for all neglected tropical diseases. This gives me an opportunity to emphasize that these efforts must continue and should not be a onetime activity in order to build a sustainable and reliable system using available resources.
WHO will continue to extend support to the Government of Maldives in green initiatives to ensure a clean and smart Maldives.