Bangladesh sent water to the Maldives today in the country’s effort to maneuver out of an extensive water crisis which led to a state of emergency after its capital ran out of drinking water.
Bangladesh Navy vessel BNS Samudra Joy departed from Chittagong with 1 lakh litres of drinkable water and five mobile water treatment plants and headed for the island nation at 10:00am today, said a press release issued by the Bangladesh Navy.
The country’s sole desalination plant – the Malé Water and Sewerages Company (MWSC) – caught fire on Thursday and led to a severe water crisis in Male. Authorities called it ‘disaster situation.’
Two days into the incident, a state of emergency was enforced throughout the Indian Ocean state of Maldives after the capital ran out of water.
However, the crisis reportedly did not affect nation's upmarket tourist resorts, located on other islands, which by law have their own power generation and desalination plants.
The Maldives government called for international support to combat the crisis. Bangladesh responded to the call and sent its aid today.
The navy vessel will cross 1,700 miles through the Indian Ocean and reach Male on December 11, the navy press release said.
Local Minivan News cited a representative of the presidential task force to state today that the government hopes for a 100 percent repair of the desalination plant within a week.
With 60% of the repair done, better results would be available by three days, it reports.
About 130,000 people in Male are said to have been living without water for bathing, cleaning and cooking.
Bangladesh and Maldives are both members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), which saw its 18th summit in Katmandu last month.