China joins effort to stem water crisis in Maldives

A woman carries bottles of drinking water, received free from a distribution centre in Male, Maldives.   | Photo Credit: Sinan Hussain

China has sent two plane loads of water to Maldives, following anenergetic response from India, which, on Sunday, delivered another1,000 tonnes of water to the Maldivian capital, in response to the crisis.

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua is reporting that two Chinese military aircraft carrying 40 tonnes of drinking water were expected to arrive in the early hours on Monday having departed for the island nation on Sunday night.

Besides, a marine rescue vessel of the Chinese Navy has been sent to dispatch 1,000 tonnes fresh water to Male on Friday, for a scheduled 3 am (local time) arrival on Monday.

The Chinese government has also donated 500,000 dollars to the Maldives government for the repairs of the country’s sole desalination plant, which was expensively damaged in a fire on Thursday.

Nearly 130,000 people residing in Male have been hit by the crisis. The Maldives government has estimated that $ 20 million would be required for the repair of the damaged plant.

On Sunday, India’s large fleet tanker delivered about 900 tonnes of fresh water to the Maldivian capital, while two C-17 planes of the Indian Air Force (IAF) also delivered another 90 tonnes of potable water.

INS Deepak is capable of producing 100 tonnes of water every day, using its onboard desalination plant, while INS Sukanya, which reached Male on Friday night, can produce 20 tonnes of fresh water daily.

The government of Maldives sought emergency assistance from India, China, Sri Lanka and the United States soon after the fire broke out.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 1:51:25 PM |

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