SEWAGE AROUND MALÉ

pipe1.jpg
Fish enjoy sewage effluent, which is discharged in every ½ hour interval from a sewer outfall around Malé

When children and others swim and bath in the waters around Malé, especially in the artificial beach and swimming tract in Malé, they could not imagine how close they are to sewer outfalls and how much the water in which they swim is contaminated with faecal and chemicals from these untreated sewer outfalls.

swimming-tract.jpg
School children getting ready to take swimming lessons in the Swimming Tract in Malé, near a sewer outfall.

In past instances the swimming tract and artificial beach were closed for public for swimming and bathing due to complaints of higher sewer contamination.

According to the State of the Environment Report 2002, sewage effluent, potentially harmful substances and different chemicals are disposed untreated into coastal water of Male’ from nine pump stations by means of six sewer outfalls around Male’. “The pollution load from these sewer outfalls probably exceeds the dilution capacity of the receiving waters,” State of the Environment Report 2002 said.

artificial-beach.jpg
Artificial Beach: One and Only Beach for 1/3 of Population of Maldives Living in Malé

Domestic sewage, industrial wastewater and clinical and lab waste water from photo and X-ray labs are discharged untreated from these six sewer outfalls into the sea and reefs around Malé.

The results of the discharge of untreated sewage effluent, sediment stress from harbor dredging and reclamation has affected coral reef around Malé and seriously degraded the reef compared to other islands. Except few resorts, sewage treatment is an alien business in the Maldives: most of the islands sewage effluent is disposed into ground by mean of septic tanks or untreated into sea.

There is potential impact of the untreated wastewater on the health of people and the environment, and the fear of these chemicals getting into the food chain.

The currents flowing around Malé and across Atolls in the Maldives reverse with the change in season, during Iruvaa (North East Monsoon- December-April) current flows from the North, and during Hulhagu (South West Monsoon- April-December), it’s the reverse. With change in season, the pattern of sewer contamination around Malé also changes.

Even in 2002 sewerage contamination from these outfalls exceeded the “dilution capacity of the receiving water”. Can you imagine the present level of sewage concentration around the coast of Malé after 7 years?

According to the Regulation on Protection and Conservation of Environment in the Tourism Industry, sewage from resorts, hotels and guesthouses have to be disposed in a manner that is least harmful to the environment. If this is the case, what is mindboggling is that this regulation is not enforced on hotels and guesthouses built in Malé.

pipe2.jpg

If untreated sewage is not good for tourist resorts, why it good enough for more than 100,000 locals living in Malé and those in other outer islands?

Recently, the Constitution Assembly (People’s Special Majlis) has adopted the right to sewerage system as a fundamental human right. If untreated sewage is disposed into the sea and reefs, we wonder how many people’s right to a safe and healthy environment is violated in the Maldives.

61 Comments »

  1. concerned said,

    April 22, 2008 @ 10:33 am

    thanks for that map. ever wonder where the leftover salt from the desalination is dumped? not too long before a Modzilla rises and ravages Male’.

    Happy Earth Day II.

  2. Sabira said,

    April 22, 2008 @ 10:34 am

    when are we going to lift off into orbit. those pipes look like rocket boosters. yaaaay! we’re going to be in Space soon.

  3. Niyaf said,

    April 22, 2008 @ 11:45 am

    No wonder the fishing is so good around Male’. I have been advising my patients and their families to avoid swimming anywhere around Male’, now I have a reference that I can guide them to.

    Do you have any independently collected data on the specific measurements of contaminants from these areas? They could be useful. How about the swimming “holes” in Villingili and Hulhumale’?

  4. Issay said,

    April 22, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

    Nice pic’s of the jet boosters.. LOL…
    Yeah!.. i wonder how many of us realize what really happens after their, sometimes, sweaty & joyful moments in the toilet..
    Im sure ,at least some of us will know what really happens to it. I have seen the out falls around male, Villingli & hulhumale’. Hell yeah!! im never going swimming around Male’. I also would not suggest any ediots to go fishing or atleast eat the fish they catch near male.. Specially the fish which come in the category of( grazers) surgeon fishes mostly..

    Regarding the last comment concerning Hulhumale & villingli, on hulhumale’ the area most people go swimming on the eastern side beach is, ironically,just beside the sewer out fall pipe. The end of the pipe is so far from the beach but the wave generated currents usually come over the breakers reef & will end up sometimes, near the beach. So.. my advise.. don’t take ur kids swimming there…..
    Why i know this?? because use to dive there & know the currents..
    Villingili can’t be much safer either,even though, the outfall is on the southern reef edge….

    Anyway, you guys are doing a great job trying to put some awareness in to this serious issue…..

    More comments will follow this…

    Kyp up the great work…

  5. Oi Iya Vattalau said,

    April 23, 2008 @ 7:39 am

    excellent post, bluepeacemaldives is doing a great job. interesting photos, its like space rocket flying at its full speed.

  6. Oi Iya Vattalau said,

    April 23, 2008 @ 7:59 am

    MWSC is making huge sum of money while polluting both groundwater of Male and waters around Male. They are doing a dirty job, making money. Its like doing human flesh trade, running a brothel (a house of prostitutes) making money.
    I call MWSC to stop polluting the environment, to squeeze money from poor families. MWSC, Should you need to make a profit of Rf 54 million a year, making the company as a profit making business company. Should you think the way that MWSC should act as a revenue generator to the government. When the monthly water bill of an average household reaches Rf 1500 -2000 for basic consumption, don’t you feel to bring down the rates, don’t you think to revise the bands. etc

    Will come with more comments

  7. Ayya said,

    April 23, 2008 @ 9:31 am

    Thanks guys. two weeks ago my friend’s 1 year old son was very sick. doctors say because of sea. so I try to find out about it around male’ sea, then I found u guys.

    You guys are doing great job. try ur best to make people understand all it’s about. I will try my best.

    may god bless u all.

  8. Ekaloa said,

    April 23, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

    If MWSC can make 45 million profit from the bog we defecate , they have to find a way to dispose it to inner deep Indian ocean instead of disposing them to near Male’. MWSC seems to be headed by corrupt people it seems.

    Good job BP keep it up.

  9. A said,

    April 23, 2008 @ 4:11 pm

    Now I know how I got an eye infection and a skin rash after swimming at Artificial Beach :(

  10. saud said,

    April 23, 2008 @ 9:16 pm

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm no wonder i feel so itchy and scratchy after taking a swim in around male’ Ganga . well thanks a lot for pics and info

  11. vandha bankeu said,

    April 23, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

    Interesting!!! but who cares?? the leaders have private islands where they can go to swim and fishing. We have to be it if we want to live here.

  12. Bakuru said,

    April 23, 2008 @ 11:14 pm

    wow … cool picx .. who took them. well i think its not good to drink desalinated waters even .. wat do u think

  13. Shariq said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 3:00 am

    Oh my gosh!!! Whaaaaaaaaaaat! I swam in the poo water without knowing it? So that was a piece of feces swimming with me? I’m shocked.

  14. yaamyn said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 4:50 am

    Very disturbing, but very relevant post.

    Good job. Keep spreading awareness! You got linked!

  15. ismael said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 5:05 am

    am lucky that still, i can’t swim……….. but am proud to be a Maldivian!

    great work! really appreciate…

  16. maael said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 5:29 am

    Hei.. thank you for the comprehensive report. i excel you for the arousing pics and the interactive map presented in this report. i am a regular swimmer who spends almost more than 2 hours everyday in the swimmin tack of male’..i am addicted to the sea, swimmin is my number one sport. this is not the first time im hearin about the water/ sea pollution over there or around male’. recently haveeru published sort of a similar article. but ofcoz your’s is more detailed. but still it doesnt answer my questions. is it risky / unhygenic / toxic / unhealthy water we are surrounded with?? what are the contents or the chemicals or contaminents presented in the water around male’ to classify it as polluted and wat are the percentage of contaminents presented in the area of artificail beach n the swimmin track?? at what times are these chemicals more concentrated? what i believe is that it will vary with the monsoons, current, time, distance from the sewer outlfalls, and with many other factors. so how could you say ‘when children and others swim and bath…they could not imagine..the water in which they swim is contaminated with faecal and chemicals from these untreated sewer outfalls’. do you have some datas about the contaminents presented in certain locations? have you done of these the swimmin locations? if so please present it to us. its really heart-breaking to hear all these things about the ‘swimmin track’ and ‘artificial beach’ for specially people like us who loves the sport and the sea. where else can we go to have some fun? wat else cud we do in male’ to socialise? please bring some more facts n datas. me and my friends, we used to go for swimmin like every day for the past 7 – 8 years, n ulike some who have had ‘itching”rashes”very sick becoz of the sea”eye infection”scratchy’ or such, we have been very healthy regardless we spend so much time in these ‘contaminated water’…maybe its not the same for everyone.. ofcoz during the past i’ve seen the ‘track’ very polluted with all sorts of rubbish n dirt aswell as oil.. but i shud say its different now – its been more looked after than the past. i want to belive wat your saying about the faecal matters n all.. but i should admit that im sort of refusing to accept these conspiracy theories or suspitions till i have a detailed report of the contaminents presented in the water taken from the track n artificial beach. i look forward to see such a report.. i admire your work.. thanx..

  17. koamas said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 5:38 am

    well Guys, that’s a great cocktail, we should serve chilled.
    maybe this ELKAN guys would make a profit out of it. Imagine all the vitamins swimming together.

    we should not even breath the air in Male’. the air’s so polluted. we need fresh air to be pipe delivered to homes and portable breathing gas carriers.

    just joking.. GOOD ARTICLE GUYS. thanks

  18. Concerned Hasan said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 6:06 am

    We should sue the company… they make millions and never even cared to let us know about this.
    As for now the least we all can do is boycott ‘TaZa’ brand water….unless they admit this fact and agree to find a solution… why not bluepeace take an initiative on this….

  19. Thoonu said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 6:12 am

    Ekahala kanthah hunnaane konme gaumehgaives, eii kee massaaleh noon.

  20. Ahmed said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 6:51 am

    we must have safe area for swiming. Govt should think abt us ………..

  21. Issay said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 9:08 am

    Sorry to interrupt like this but, some people are so naive even when things are so clear in front of them..
    I see some wanting proof of water tests…While others are saying “oh its life” take it as it is…. Yeah!! shit happens in all parts of the world.. Right..???
    But guys guys.. you have no idea how fragile our male’ is……
    I have seen writings by marine biologists which say, the reef structure around male & Villingili might be at big risk of collapsing if raw sewage continues to get poured on the reef, because the corralline alge which holds the reef structure get infected by bacteria
    After all, Our islands are made of Coral.. Not granite rock..

    How many of you agree that, any water test done by the laboratories of this country would give any viable results of any of the governments misconduct???

    I used to go swimming to the Track regularly some years back, but, I stopped going there because, some times the silver jewelery i wear becomes all red & black after a dip in our treasured Swimming track..
    Did any of you guys notice something like this….
    So on friday make sure you all skeptical people go there with silver jewelery….. “Contaminant free sea water makes silver very bright”

    Anways,, guys keep commenting… :)

  22. shah said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

    I think some one needs to look at this very carefully. A study of fish around the reefs for mercury and heavy metal chemical levels should be undertaken.
    A broader study regarding the dilutional capacity and average contamination level should be done.
    These problems if not taken care now, might have long term effect on the population around male’.

  23. Sierra Mike said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 11:44 pm

    interesting article..

    how about the sewage from local boats / dhoanis inside male’ harbour…
    I think this would be also a problem???

  24. Azima said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

    i think enviriment Ministry must imediatly inform MWSC to setup Sewage system in Male’ just like resorts.

  25. hassanbay said,

    April 25, 2008 @ 4:16 am

    Thanks to blue peace. Very well done. Actually I would say that government offcials in this sector knows about this for long time, at times they have made the data confidential. This issue was there during the mid and late nineties, but was not disclosed and not expressed as we did not have freedom of expressions.

  26. Ahmed said,

    April 25, 2008 @ 6:49 am

    Great job Bluepeace. Outstanding article that hits the heart of the problem once again. When maumoon prepares to give his ceremonial symbolic Green leaf award it is questionable if he knows anything about enviroment at all.

    The Bluepeace articles have gotten better and better, i think it would be a good idea to have a publication of these issues in print so it can reach a broader ordinance. Specially the seniors members of our society who are out of touch with internet and blogging. Also it would be great to have it on dhivehi. I am sure there will be many to fund your campaign.

  27. man mad said,

    April 25, 2008 @ 11:35 am

    maael just now i have seen ur comment..i agree with u man…me2 want to see the detailed report.coz ol these days i used to swim there bt i dnt have any problem…..lol

  28. admirer said,

    April 25, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

    Excellent work there by you guys…. Just some ideas for the rest.
    I don’t think you need detailed reports, try digging a bit of sand by your hands in the artificial beach, smell it and check the colour, my four year old kid who was trying to make a sand castle showed it to me.

    Maybe you guys could run more awareness campaigns around the Artificial beach on weekends, using flyers and other means, I am sure those who are regular their are not aware of the unseen dangers.

    May allah bless you

  29. Maldives Lover said,

    April 25, 2008 @ 8:14 pm

    Over 20 years ago – there was a meeting arranged from the Government of Maldives in Male – The Topic was:

    How to avoid the pollution in Maldives. What the Tourist Islands, the Diving Instructors, the Windsurf People can do and so on. I was present and a Diving Instructor was pointing out, that the biggest pollution comes from Male that time – the suege water from over 100.000 population goes uncleared into the sea. That around Villingili already many alges are growing – always a sign of over fertilizing the water……Very quick the topic was changed and finished…… Then there was no conference about this topic anymore for a longer period of time…

  30. 8yrs said,

    April 25, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

    we figured years back after my bro dived to fix those pipes….. our friends and family are being told not to swim around male. where else to take the kids? well, we are not that rich to take them around all the timeto other islands and resorts. although we did avoid swimming near male after our son 8yrs old atarted high fever. its dangerous. atleast now more of us knows it. great work.

  31. Farooq Mohamed Hassan said,

    April 26, 2008 @ 12:41 am

    The subject has been hotly debated for years. As a person who has been closely involved in the subject under discussion, I have yet to find more convincing scientific data such as the types of ‘dangerous or hazardous’ contaminants and their concentrations in the sewage waters discharged around Male’. One must understand that the sewage that MWSC discharges into the sea are more or less organic in nature. Since there are no heavy chemical or other manufacturing industries Male’, the sewage contains very little chemicals in very small concentrations. Most of the chemicals that we use are those that are contained in ‘household products’ such as detergents, shampoos, shower gels, etc. It is true that the sewage may contain some hospital wastes. But they are not located all over Male’. Clinics, yes. Articles such as these must be published based ion scientific research and convincing data. If the aim of this article is create alarm and panic among the public, the objective has been well achieved! On the contrary, if the objective had been to educate the public, it should have provided the pros and cons of discharging sewage and other more appropriate options available. For those concerned, I suggest, they read scholarly articles on health guidelines on discharging untreated waste water in open water bathing areas such as the beaches. It is a widely researched subject. I am sure that you would appreciate it that in making a choice of this nature, the authorities have to make a choice between what is ideal and what is practical. For some additional information, you may also read the article: http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Sewage1.htm

  32. Aishath said,

    April 26, 2008 @ 2:20 am

    This problem exists not just in Male. Many local islands have the same problems. In Thinadhoo the sewage pipes come out on the jetty within the Lagoon. Even the waste is a problem as people still are too lazy to dump their waste at the burning place on one side of the island but still go and dig it on the beach. You can’t even go for a walk on the beach there without watching where you step with all the nappies, pads, rusted cans,…….. . I would not want to now how the ground water is testing we shower ourselves everyday in G.Dh. Thinadhoo. I call it the true sights and smells of Maldives.

  33. Ibrahim said,

    April 26, 2008 @ 3:44 am

    It is pity that no comprehensive study was done by MWSA and MWSC recently to assess the impacts of dispersion and dilution of sewage except basic dye tests done in 1988 by Lanka Hydraulic Institute to assess the coli form movement from sewage outfalls around Male’.

    However, of the State of Environment Report published by United Nations Environmental programme in 2002 as referred by Bluepeace article, clearly says the pollution load from these sewer outfalls probably exceeds the dilution capacity of the receiving waters,” Even though there is no recent comprehensive study, this statement from such a report, bugs me lot.

    In 1988, population of Male’ was around 50 thousands, in 2002 around 75 thousand, now over 100 thousand. More people more chemicals and more sewage…you need not be scientist to assess this.

    What’s important is to find a solution…. When over 100 thousand people live in less than two square kilo meters, in cramped conditions…shit happens….this kind of situation is not normal in other countries. We all need to find solutions. I think MCSA need to negotiate with MWSC to study the possibility of treating waste from these outfalls. It is costly…..but seems inevitable and need time.

    For those who are going to miss the waters around Male’., should have an easy access to Kudabados and Feydhoofinolhu….

  34. kakuni said,

    April 26, 2008 @ 8:49 am

    Forgive me for being personal but it seems to me that Faroog Mohamed Hassan is diverting the topic in his comment. Bluepeace did not stress on heavy metals in this post even though they did stress about it on the post on Thilafushi. Doesn’t Faroog, with his years of experience in the field, know that untreated sewage disposal itself is harmful? Would he be willing to take his children to swim regularly in the contaminated waters? There is no need to stress on heavy metals. The chemicals from photo labs are dangerous too. I don’t expect NGOs, with their limited expertise, to come up with scientific proof. It is up to the government agencies to do studies and tests. That is the mandate of Maldives Water and Sanitation Authority which was headed by Faroog a couple of years ago. Then it is up to Male’ Water and Sewerage Company, which makes millions of dollars each year as profit, to invest in a better sewerage system for 1/3 of the population. Instead of sitting silent in their comfortable bureaucratic chairs, why don’t people like Faroog open their mouths and work for the people in raising awareness on issues such as groundwater contamination because of unethical practices of MWSC and seawater contamination because of discharge of untreated sewage? I know that he wrote an article for DO on Water Day but is that enough? His ignorance of the issues affecting Maldivian people were evident when he urged to stop all public water taps in Male’, because he thought people of Male’ were drinking only bottled water. This was when he was a ‘shadow minister’ of MDP.

  35. farooq Mohamed Hassan said,

    April 26, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

    let me make a few points clear. First, I was a student when the sewerage network was laid in Male’ (1985 -1988). Second, MWSC didn’t exist at the time the project was executed. Third, it took more than 10 years for the government to find the money they needed to execute the project. And that was after scaling down the project several times. As intellectuals, we should try and understand why those who made these critical decisions made them and why? Fourth, several studies have been done on sewage discharge around Male’. Those who are interested in the subject should read them first. Fifth, those who do not have the institutional memory, should discuss the issues that concerns them with those who made those decisions and why. To my understanding, the prime concern of the decision makers at the time was to eliminate the spread of waterborne diseases throughout the country. This objective has been clearly achieved. The Government has requested MWSC, at the time of its formation, to consider treatment of sewage at a future time. But MWSC cannot do this unless land for treatment is made available to them. For health reasons, treatment facilities require that people do not live within 500 meters radius – and that if the treatment facility is completely covered, else, the required radius is 1000m (1 kilometer). If Bluepeace and kakuni can show the authorities that kind space in six areas in Male’ (one for each sea outfall), or the huge investment costs to redesign and lay the new sewerage network requiring one sea outfall, I would certainly be very happy and would support it. Finally, I go regularly to swim in the artificial beach.

  36. Nazeef said,

    April 27, 2008 @ 3:15 am

    someone is really trying to divert the issue here. You don’t need 6 sewage treatment plants for Male’. Just one would be enough for Male’ and Vilingili. And it doesn’t have to be in Male’. Sewage and chemicals can be collected and transported via a network of pipes and pump stations to a municipal treatment plant that can be located in a near by uninhabited island. And this is very possible. Also there are other methods where sewage can be treated close to where it is created.

    “Water contaminated by sewage overflows may carry a large number of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. The number and type of pathogens carried in sewage may differ depending on the general health of the community.

    Although more severe health outcomes such as hepatitis have not been addressed by some studies, the transmission of infectious viruses such as hepatitis A and E is possible. The risk to health is significantly increased if the bather’s head is immersed.”

    And someone is talking about “objective has been clearly achieved” and “for HEALTH reasons….”??? SO STUPID.

    Well enjoy swimming in the poop.

  37. Ibrahim said,

    April 27, 2008 @ 4:53 am

    The State of Environment Report published by United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 2002 says “Bathing water quality in Male Swimming Track (or fathaasarhaddu) …which is close to sewer outfalls for PS2 and PS9 behind Dharubaaruge. At times when fecal contamination exceed 100 per 100ml…….The Male’ sewers not only carry sewage but also chemicals and potentially harmful substances…As Bluepeace blog post says, the UNEP Report was talking about 2002. This is 2008………

    When Mr.Faroog Mohamed Hassan says “the sewage that MWSC discharges into the sea are more or less organic in nature”.He attempts to divert the issue..and make this a non-issue. If sewage is so organic why EIA approved by him to tourist resort, sewage treatment is required . Why not let tourists be nature friendly, organic friendly…let them swim in their own excretes

  38. Maldives Lover said,

    April 27, 2008 @ 7:36 am

    to comment no. 35

    In Male 1988 the Maldivian (officially announced&registered) population was around 65.000 without the expatries, without the permanent and without the short time Maldivian visitors in Male….

    That time inofficially there were in Male already over 100.000 living…

  39. Farooq Mohamed Hassan said,

    April 27, 2008 @ 9:57 am

    I suppose Nazeef is not living in a wonderland. Remember, people in decision making levels will always have to make unpopular, and at times, painful choices. This is the reality of life. Not because they like it. But because circumstances dictate it. For your information, there are several WHO manuals on water quality guidelines. Read them. There are so much of information on the Internet. Read them. If you have no time for that, It will do well to remember that “Little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

    Mr. Ibrahim! It appears that you have no facts to support your statements. Perhaps this is the reason why you resort to cheap accusations. However, you do not have to lie to make your point. You lie because you have nothing to contribute to this ongoing discussion involving a highly technical issue. By the way, you do not seem to even understand the difference between ‘evaluation’ and ‘approval’. They are not the same and are executed by different people. For your information, one of the requirements imposed on the EIA evaluator is to assess the extent to which the EIA report addresses the Terms of Reference given to the expert assigned to carryout the EIA. As far as I know, EIAs have been approved or rejected by the Environment Section of the Ministry to which it is affiliated (Different ministries at different times). Currently, EIAs are approved or rejected by the Environmental Research Centre (ERC). I am not a staff there. By the way, the State of the Environment Report you are referring to, over and over again, is not a Reference Manual for water quality. And the statement you are referring to is not substantiated by facts. If you and Nazeef cannot digest that much, that is your own problem. I am trying to contribute to this debate in the light of the information I have. Imaam Ali, may Allah be pleased with him said, “Do not talk about matters on which you have no knowledge of, or on matters your knowledge is limited”. Do not expose your ignorance by making stupid statements.

  40. Hafeez said,

    April 27, 2008 @ 11:51 am

    I wonder who should “read more”? And who is making the really stupid statements? Its no surprise to me that people loyal to the regime will do anything to defend themselves and the regime. These people does not have a clue about the stress and frustration we live in. What Kakuni have mentioned is a good example of the ignorance of Mr Faroog “he (Faroog) urged to stop all public water taps in Male’, because he thought people of Male’ were drinking only bottled water”.

    remember that “Little awareness is more dangerous”.

    I am looking forward for a statement or a comment from bluepeace on what Mr Faroog is talking about here. I can clearly see and understand what bluepeace is trying to tell. But it seems like Faroog is trying to change the purpose of this discussion and trying to mislead the readers. Maybe because he feels guilty…???

  41. Oi Iya Vattalau said,

    April 27, 2008 @ 11:42 pm

    To me its more alarming and serious on the huge rates MWSC charging on our water bills. When the average monthly water bill amounts Rf1500 -2000 (USD150-200) thats a huge amount to a water bill. Should MWSC really need to make that huge profit (avg Rf54million) annually?. I understand that seawater desalination is not as simple as roof top rainwater collection into household tanks. The problem here is that, the profit they make by selling poor quality of drinking water directly goes to government revenue.
    MWSA being the regulator of water supply and shit in the country, i don’t see what they are doing, we see them hibernating, they don’t open their mouth, they are sitting within MEEW without performing their mandate.

  42. DUDE said,

    April 28, 2008 @ 8:00 am

    Gud article!! I was goin to that poop track regulaly but iv stopped now! This really sucks! why dont the government people extend the pipes to a deeper and far away area???? Please Let more people know abt this issue! All you surfers out there your surfing in POOP! So lets all do sumthing abt it other than saying its wrong????? I want a cleaner place to swim!!!!

  43. Issay said,

    April 28, 2008 @ 8:17 am

    Its always bad to accuse people…
    Little knowledge is dangerous as well…??

    But….. No E.I.A (Environmental impact assessment) will ever be complete nor it will be regarded as valid, unless it includes water tests done at different depths of the surrounding waters of the islands & of the ground water of the island….

    I am seeing grown up people talking stupid things in here!!!..ie: 500 meters barriers space from any sewage water treatment plants…?? How many meters are there on the Radio Maldives transmitting towers…????? Its the usual playground of so many kids… Why was a 4 meter high wall put around all the towers & suspension cables…… It emits a shit load of radiation… Then again, little knowledge is dangerous…..

    Back when the sewer pipes were laid, Male’ definitely had more empty government land than right now.!!!!
    I remember how the two guava trees at my place died a month after they laid the pipe on our road….Before that the ground water in male was not brackish or contaminated….Once the water lens was drained out in to the sea, saltwater had to seep in to fill the void & i guess thats where the ground water went bad…

    Anyway, guys guys,,, try not to pour your ego’s here, this is an awareness blog for gods sake……
    Who needs laboratory tests when information about the effects of sewage runoff in to seawater is at every internet users finger tips???

    How many tests should be done for how many years, before people started getting diagnosed for diseases which will never be diagnosed by IGMH.Hope you all know what i am saying here..??
    And how long do you think the reefs around male will survive…. I can guarantee you that Global warming was never the cause of the death of the corals around male……. It was the sewage run off…

    Anyway, guys keep commenting & hey, blue peace, u guys done a great job. At least you’ve got the big mouths talking.. ;)

  44. Farooq Mohamed Hassan said,

    April 29, 2008 @ 3:44 am

    Who ever kakuni is, he must come out of his dark hole so that he may see light and the real world we all live in.

    I never urged to stop any public water taps. I was asked about the price structure of the MWSC. The person obviously was referring to the rates MWSC was charging for the water, and what could be done about it. I said its not only the rates that is at issue here. The whole consumption scenario has changed from predominantly drinking water to predominantly household uses. As more salts are removed the water becomes more softer and so more difficult to remove soaps and detergents. In other words, your consumption goes up as a result. In view of the changing consumption pattern, I said that we may need to look at whether it is justified to supply this high quality water for domestic uses. Instead it may be less costlier, if MWSC is allowed to raise the pH of the piped water and subsidize the bottled water. I still stand by my statement. And by the way, I am not a member of DRP. I am also not a staff of either MWSC or MWSA. Do not measure everyone from your own yardstick. Every time you get cornered, you twist and turn and change your topic. Bravo..!!!!

    And Issay, whoever he is, is too scared to reveal himself. I doubt whether you know how much sewage MWSC is pumping out to sea. How deep these outfalls are. What is the composition and concentration of the sewage being pumped. What is the effect of dilution and dispersion around the sea outfalls? It seems that you even do not know that the studies done in one part of the world may not be comparable to another part of the world. That is why we need research to be done. Show me some convincing data for the seaoutfalls around Male’ and for the swimming areas, I will believe you.

    And just before I leave ….it seems that you are perhaps too young to know that the VoM towers has been standing there long before people started playing in the area. If you doubt, just call VoM technicians. Who’s at fault? Vom or the authorities who let children play there? Ignorance …???? or just talking big …????

  45. Farooq Mohamed Hassan said,

    April 29, 2008 @ 4:09 am

    Just two more things Issay, whoever you are! The 500 meters and 1000 meters distance from residential areas for covered and uncovered sewage treatment plants respectively, are international standards. They are not set by me. Ignorance…???? I wouldn’t say so.

    And yes! EIAs for newly built resorts can provide water tests from different depths. But it will only be tests on pristine and clear water. So what’s your point? To be used as a baseline for comparison in a future study? Good, very good. Because before development of the resort, there will be no sewage network on the island, and the issue doesn’t arise. However, if the developer proposes a certain sewage disposal system, the EIA consultants can use appropriate computer models to predict its impact on the environment. But the consultants undertaking EIAs will only do it, if the TOR given to them asks for it. Why not call the ERC and make your case? Good luck!!!

  46. Issay said,

    April 29, 2008 @ 6:50 am

    Soooooo… Mr Faroooq ” hellow Mr. no it all” ain’t u the one saying: Quote, “By the way, the State of the Environment Report you are referring to, over and over again, is not a Reference Manual for water quality.”..
    Whats that supposed to mean.. The Argument was about “EIA” or is somebody speaking dhivehi…..
    Is anybody concerned about any pristine lagoon around a tourist resort or an uninhabited island……
    The photos really did get you going right…….??

    So my dearest, your saying once the authorities make horrible mistakes…. the rest of us just ignore it???? So, is (ignorance) your new motto???
    Ignorance is Bliss they say.. i wonder why????
    By the way, to be more direct, The VOM towers was just an example…!!??

    My point is.. How long do you people think you can hide behind your Office walls & think people will not know whats really going onn…
    There is no way you can defend this issue no matter what u make up.

    Does MWSC really think that lengthening the Sewer out fall at IGMH area will hide the shitt.. Yeaah maybe from some peoples eyes.. But not everyones.. Am i right..???? Oh how many meters off the reef is it now??.100meters..???
    Yeah!! its so so hidden LOL…..

    And who gives a shit about the amount of Sewage discharge which gets released.. We are concerned about why its released without any proper treatment.??? We all know what >100,000 people can produce in a day.. u don’t have to be a rocket scientists to realize that…..

    Anyway do you want everyone to go & start measuring the water around male & Become lab technicians???
    Is that what the authorities want the citizens to do….

    I tell you what? why don’t we go snorkeling together on friday. We both can enjoy the shit together….. I’m sure my skin is used to it by now.. I don’t know about you……

    Anyway, i apologize if i offended any self respecting soul?? in any way.. this is not a place for ridicule….Again this is an awareness blog..
    I just am, concerned because i see the amount of run off quiet so often.. maybe more than anyone who is commenting on this blog.

    Because of what some people are saying, everything is now becoming more & more clear about this whole issue… ;)

    Keep up the great work guys…

  47. Farooq Mohamed Hassan said,

    April 29, 2008 @ 7:41 am

    Well guys, there are some hard lessons to learn from development projects. First of all, for the sake of record, Male’s sewerage network, a component of which are the pump stations and the sea outfalls, was laid between 1985 and 1988. There was no ‘Masveringe Park’ or the ‘Artificial Beach’ or the ‘swimming track’ at the time. If I remember correctly, the ‘artificial beach’ was constructed somewhere between 1995 and 1999. Obviously the British engineers who designed the system and the government officials who approved the system had no clue about the ‘Masveringe Park’, the ‘Artificial Beach’ or the ‘Swimming Track’. It is wrong therefore to accuse MWSC, which didn’t exist at the time, for the decisions they did not take. Similarly, the VoM antennas were put up in Lonuziyaaraiykolhu long before people started playing in the area.

    If you guys are so interested in public health, as you claim you do, why are you not bothered about people who come in to swim straight after playing, without cleaning themselves (showers are there, although they are charged), men, women and children getting in without taking showers! Where on earth will they allow you to do so? Do you know how many urinate inside the swimming area, change their sanitary pads? You talk of itching and rashes. Why don’t you guys educate them on these helath aspects, advocate on the need to make showering free of charge for swimmers!!

    The important lesson to be learned is that we ought to incorporate integrated town planning. We not be able to implement all that we plan in one phase. But at least we can have a better environment at the end of the planning cycle. This is what happens when town planners do not talk to service providers.

    Hafeez and Issay! reveal yourselves so that we can engage in more constructive dialogues. The Kakuni, should also come out of its dark hole so that it may see and enjoy light and better appreciate the real world we all live in.

    I hope Bluepeace will have the courage to publish the two comments which I made this evening (that is the last 2 comments above by Faroog) so that all of us may benefit from it.

  48. Oi Iya Vattalau said,

    April 29, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

    Interesting point Farooq has raised in his comment no 47 ” changing sanitary pads and urinating in the swimming pool” I am sure people with loose motion might discharge their excreta too in the pool. wonder how unhygienic the pool will be.
    Also, he has raised a good point in his comment 44, i agree him. here MWSC is doing a tricky thing making us to consume big volume of water while bringing down the salt level of their water.

  49. Kaanoage Hasanaa said,

    April 29, 2008 @ 7:55 pm

    I have just gone through these comments made on the Male residents shit discharged to sea around Male. Wonder when it will happen to us to discharge treated sewage into toilet bowl. If this happens we wouldn’t need the so called treatment plants, treatment facilities, wastewater management. No worry to discharge it into our well next to toilet room.

    If you guys are really interested on Maldivians shit and their impact on environment please visit this

    http://watersewerage-maldives.blogspot.com/

  50. Issay said,

    April 30, 2008 @ 2:23 am

    First of all,, How can i come out of this tiny shit hole & show my self covered in shit…..U’d definitely pinch ur air conditioned nostrils , if i meet u covered in shit..
    The government has put us all in such deep shit that everyday is a near drowning experience..,,,, teee heeeee…. Now dats a laugh…..

    We are not concerned about the individuals acts, because when the system is unable to implement anything for the benefit of the public…Just Like “Mr No it all” everyone is jumping up to cover their huge mess…

    If the sewerage system was installed by cave men, then i guess its the responsibility of the so called civilized bunch, (making more profit than the amount of shit runoff every year) who has to correct the mistakes made by those retarded cavemen.
    who would blame the poor old cave people.. Right…….?

    I wonder if the PHD’S & the other bullshit they bring here are valid when they come here & get the annual award of the puppet master…
    If people are educated & civilized then such people will not go to such lengths to defend mistakes they are involved in neck deep…. Specially on such transparent issues…

    For your information. Male’ artificial beach is not a swimming pool. its a stagnant body of water regardless of any swimmers peeing in there….

    Yeah! if the poor Maldivians are charged 2 Rf for a pee.. then who’d pay for it… We are not bothered about a bird shitting on the beach or a turtle leaving there egg shells on the nest hole. We are concerned about the huge environmental impact due to the release of raw sewage in to the surrounding waters of this Tiny city…..And the health risk involved with it,specially at a place with such high standard medical service..

    And what are the comments your talking about. If i can see your comments, why cant you..???. Is your network Blog proofed…

    Anyway, i feel ashamed of some Maldivians.

    Again, i have to say, Blue peace has done a great job…

  51. vivian reethi dutch chick said,

    April 30, 2008 @ 6:45 am

    Hi everybody,

    I just arrived male and I was really impressed of the beautiful environment.
    It’s like a small paradise on earth these islands and especially the sea, is what
    i really love. Went diving for the 1st time in my life and it was wonderful!

    But I’m quiet shocked about these jet boosters – is this The Way to get rid of your shit?

    Not only the chemicals,shit and pie can be dangerous for children who swim near male or even people of another age, but it’s also really bad for the ground and sea life.

    We’re living in 2008, we know a lot about technology, isn’t there 1 (filter or cleaning) system – witch is not too expensive – and can keep male more clean?

    Maybe it’s not worst yet- but what about 10, 20, 30 or fifty years.

    I think you all should be proud of your beautiful Islands and sea.

    I’d just like to say: Keep Male clean – INVEST in your nature

  52. Selvam R Nath said,

    May 4, 2008 @ 6:06 am

    The article is really good to point out the disposal of wastes materials in the Ocean.
    If we treat the waste water before discharge it into the sea / ocean, as per the standards, there is less risk factor. But if not !!!!! We really have to face the after effects of that.

    Waste Water Management System is a must for the countries like Maldives. Ofcource once it is disposed into the Ocean, it will spread all the parts due to the waves and currents. But any depositions, then its impact to the Coral communities, is a threat. So to avoid that we have to think about the facts.

    As it is pointed out in the article, if any swimming beaches and places near to the discharge areas, it will lead to some medical problems to the human also.

    When we take about the fish communities, sewage pollution creates lots of diseases and health problems. And this will affect the fish stock and marine / coral life of Maldives. If not now, may be in near future.

    So let us think about it seriously, and take steps to avoid such a circumstances.

  53. zan^^ said,

    May 14, 2008 @ 3:53 am

    thanks for the pics and info…it will make a drastic change in my family,as they use artificial beach and track as one of there main source to be healthy huh…

  54. dhaadha said,

    May 24, 2008 @ 8:32 am

    ewww!!!! i dunt thnk tht im ever gonna swim in male’………

  55. rasheedbari said,

    January 18, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

    I have been swimming regularly at the artificial beach as well as swimming track over eight years.

    i know the exact location of the sewage pipes around Male’ as well as some of the results of the environmental studies conducted by GKW? MWSA and MWSC; there are several issues to be discussed; however I am more concerned with the fact that nearly 2/3 of the population of Maldives have their sewage dumped in the back yard without proper treatment; the domestic population may be drinking rain water collected off the roof (which has no quality assurance) but they do use groundwater for other potable consumption and are at risk. take a bath at the atholhuge in any atholuverikankuraa island ; one not trained in the ways of bathing from these wells run the risk of suffocation too. i am not refering to the two or three people who died in the ground water well in Murex/Male years ago or even the deaths in well near fish market last year.

    i would say we have taken ages dragging our feet in implementation of proper sewer systems in the islands. sad reality is that we never learn, we keep making same or even worse mistakes as we go on over and over again. do not allow me unroll this list……..the industry vocals i am sure will elaborate on this point as we go on.

    some thoughts for the road:
    1. what % of the islands have proper sewers
    3. how many times did we redesign them?
    4. how many times did we have to repair them even b4 we finished construction?
    5. is our institutional memory bigger than the cockroaches?
    6. are we still intoxicated by the color of the skin or the accent of the consultant? how else can u let the Thulusdhoo public water supply be commissioned without even a chlorination system and entertain the junior water consultant say ” we were not asked for a disinfection system”!!!!
    6. at the going speed how long before we can construct sustainable sanitary systems in the islands?
    7. who will balance the ingredients such as technology, price, community expectations, risks and sustainability, operations and maintenance, regulations and authority? credibility and integrity in this industry?

    as I speak i am aware that sewage or waste water cannot be discussed in isolation from WATER.

    Water is a human right!! it shall not be regarded as a commodity subjected to supply an demand in developing countries. now this is a serious issue at this juncture when we go for REGIONAL UTILITIES without REGULATORS. remember these things do not happen over night!! I should say it is not a fairy tale that can change at the stroke of midnight and a discovery of a glass slipper!

    after that heat warming thought of the savior of a heroic girl subjected to manipulation and abuse by her STEP MOTHER, now to get back to the topic on sewage and swimming in the waters around Male’ and Male waste water treatment and disposal system; let us widen our vision to cover the whole nation while we look for an integral solution to this problem using our institution memory as well as the data that we have collected over the last 15 to 20 years from the islands.

  56. The 10 Most Insidious & Destructive Pollutants on Earth | WebEcoist said,

    March 28, 2009 @ 2:13 am

    [...] via Bluepeace, [...]

  57. Jim said,

    December 11, 2009 @ 12:44 am

    This is disturbing that this happens, although I’m sure not uncommon in the world. No offense to the residents of Male, but maybe it will be a good thing when climate change causes the ocean to swallow this island. It will give the reefs and the ocean life a chance to recover.

  58. Carl Lindstrom said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

    There is a way to eliminate the sewer by endorsing the new way of seeing human waste as a safe to use resource for growing better food !
    http://www.youtube.com/cargnar#p/a/u/0/dFnv6vPRm_Q
    Please contact us

    All the best
    Carl

  59. Sewage Treatment said,

    August 3, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

    The problem is not just confined to Male as the UK faces similar problems.
    In 2007, the sewage and water industry caused 19% of serious (category 1 and 2) water pollution incidents.Between 2004 and 2008, water companies in England and Wales were prosecuted 342 times for serious pollution offences, according to the E.A. watchdog.
    Decentralisation of sewage works is the only answer.

  60. Rainwater Harvesting said,

    August 3, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

    Failing sewage infrastructure nationwide has been described as “a ticking time bomb that’s ready to go off.” The truth is, the fuse has almost burnt out.
    We trust the UK Water Companies to safeguard our rivers – it is their responsibility, paid for by us through our sewage rates – and they are failing us all.
    The Water Companies are fined on a regular basis (but not enough) because the infrastructure is not coping.

  61. Shums said,

    September 16, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

    I rarely go swimming in Male’ , while I was teaching I had to go to the swimming track with the kids for a week, after which I ended up with a very bad skin rash and infection. This is a very serious issue, it’s sad people aren’t focusing on Things like this now …

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