Seven Islands in Baa Atoll Join Forces on Recycling with Soneva Namoona


Maldives
PUBLISHED December 08, 2021 | updated December 08, 2021 10:11

Four more islands in Baa Atoll have started working with Soneva Namoona to pilot a sustainable waste management system that can be adopted throughout the Maldives. 

Dhonfanu, Kamadhoo, Kudarikilu and Kendhoo have joined the original three Namoona islands in Baa Atoll—Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, and Kihaadhoo—to commission a recyclable waste collection boat, which will regularly collect recyclable waste from the islands. On 6 December, the boat collected segregated, compacted, and baled recyclable waste from all seven islands for the first time the Maldives. 

The boat collected over 50 tonnes of recyclable waste from the seven islands, consisting of aluminium, other metals, cardboard, tetra-paks (beverage cartons), and plastics, all of which will be sent abroad for recycling. 

The island council Presidents of the seven islands joined the collection boat to celebrate this milestone of the Soneva Namoona programme. 

Local islands face significant challenges in disposing of their waste in a clean and environmentally sound manner. Waste is rarely segregated properly into different types, which is a prerequisite for recycling, the waste management centres often lack equipment, and managing waste properly can be costly. 

Soneva Namoona is implementing a radically new approach to waste management, focusing on island-level solutions, in partnership with the island councils and local communities.   

The seven Baa Atoll islands that are part of Soneva Namoona have made great strides in tackling the waste problem, including:  

- Cleaning up all the legacy waste that was piled up in the island waste management centres. Under the activity, ‘fresh start’, all the waste was first segregated and all the recyclable waste was sent for recycling. 

- Using baling machines to massively reduce the volume of recyclable waste, making it easier to store, handle, and transport. 

- Working together to create enough baled, compacted recyclable waste to fill the collection boat.  

Commenting on the collection boat now visiting all seven Namoona islands in Baa Atoll, Ibrahim Rahman, Kendhoo Island Council President, said: “A good waste management system, which compliments local lifestyles of small developing communities, is the most necessary solution that our isolated islands need. This ongoing collaborative initiative of Soneva Namoona, implemented with these seven islands, represents a huge success and advancement in our waste management systems. Soneva Namoona has demonstrated an effective alternative approach to one of our biggest concerns.”  

Azhoora Ahmed, President of Soneva Namoona NGO, said: “It has been a privilege working with these island communities who have all taken proactive steps to take control of the waste they produce. The Namoona Model shows how islands can work together to support each other. We are excited to see how this example could be adopted by more island clusters in the Maldives.” Azhoora Ahmed, President of Soneva Namoona NGO. 

Soneva Namoona’s work in Dhonfanu, Kamadhoo, Kudarikilu and Kendhoo is funded by the Soneva Foundation and USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program. 

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