First Couple of Maldives has concluded an official visit to Alifushi Island of Raa Atoll.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed arrived in Alifushi Island on Thursday 05 January, 2023, and were accorded a very warm welcome upon their arrival.
During their visit, President Solih met with the Alifushi Island Council and Women's Development Committee (WDC) members.
The discussions at the meeting focused on the administration's developmental initiatives, plans for the island, and ways to address the concerns of the island's community.
At the meeting, the council members expressed their gratitude to President Solih and his administration for the significant developmental progress of the island under his leadership, which they described as comparable to the development seen over the past 20 years. Developmental work on the island includes airport development and water and sewerage network projects.
The council members also shared with President Solih the needs and concerns of the island's community. The topics discussed at the meeting included renovation of the eastern harbor, expanding land in the industrial zone, developing a social center, and expediting the hospital project.
The WDC members raised concerns related to the management of waste generated at the boatyard and studying the causes of the prevalence of cancer on the island.
Speaking at the meeting, President Solih revealed that funds have been secured for the island's hospital project and briefed the community leaders about the progress of the administration's developmental work on the island. The President said that road construction projects on the island would be launched as soon as the ongoing water and sewerage network projects are over.
President Solih also assured the community leaders of the administration's commitment to seek ways to address their concerns. A senior delegation of the government accompanied him at the meeting.
During the visit, the President also met with the council members of Raa Atoll.
At the meeting, the council members presented to the President a paper with details of the socio-economic and infrastructure development needs of the atoll. The council members noted the need to expedite the airport project at the southern end of the atoll, establish a mechanism in the R. Vandhoo Regional Waste Management Centre to dispose of waste generated in boatbuilding, and proposed to designate three islands as picnic destinations.
The council members also asked the President to expedite the Ungoofaaru Regional Hospital expansion project and include Kandholhudhoo Island under the council’s jurisdiction, which it plans to develop as a historical site.
At the meeting, President Solih spoke about how the administration attaches priority to consulting with local councils about its developmental plans. He also thanked the council members for sharing their insight into the developmental plans and ongoing projects.
The President also stated that the administration is currently deliberating on a location in the southern part of the atoll for the proposed airport project. He also announced that the Raajje Transport Link (RTL) high-speed ferry services would be introduced to Raa Atoll next, and informed them of the administration’s decision to hand over the island of Ufulandhoo to the atoll council. The administration had earlier designated the island for tourism development.
President Solih also reaffirmed to the council members the administration’s commitment to addressing their concerns.
On Alifushi Island, the President and the First Lady inaugurated the new multi-purpose hall built in the island’s school.
The visit also saw the First Couple attending the official function held to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities for 2022.
Addressing the function, President Solih underlined his administration’s efforts to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities and mobilise support for their dignity, rights, and well-being. He also stated that his administration would soon announce revisions to the disability allowance.
The First Lady also attended a community festival organized by the island council.
A senior delegation of the government accompanyed the First Couple on the visit.