The first couple has concluded their brief tour of Faafu atoll and returned to the capital city.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed departed on the official visit to five islands of Faafu atoll on Saturday and were accompanied by a high-level delegation of government officials.
The first stop of the tour was to Nilandhoo island, where the president met with the island council, Women’s Development Committee (WDC) and residential community.
During his meeting with the Nilandhoo council and WDC, the president was briefed on the pertinent needs of the island community including issues related to tourism development, coastline protection, construction of a police station, a new council secretariat building, expansion of health services, including the introduction of dialysis facilities and establishment of an intensive care unit in the hospital, relocation of the powerhouse, enhancement of ferry services, and provision of suitable premises for the efficient functioning of the Qur'anic Centre's branch on the island.
Listening to these concerns, the president noted that the administration would priorities the relocation of the powerhouse and the construction of the harbor while also giving due importance to the development of the police station and the construction of a new building for the council secretariat.
Following the council meeting, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed visited the Faafu Atoll Hospital, where they engaged with the management and staff to gain insights into the challenges faced, and the initiatives undertaken to enhance healthcare services in the region.
Afterwards, the President inaugurated the newly established "Tadrees Al-Quran Al-Kareem" Quran class and toured the facility with the First Lady. The facility currently caters to over 100 students, with two classrooms in operation. Initially founded in 1969 as the "Hendunu Class," the institution has undergone significant transformations.
During his meeting with the island community, the president echoed his administration's central objective of attaining comprehensive national progress by prioritizing the development of all islands and fulfilling the aspirations of every individual.
President Solih also announced upcoming initiatives to address the residents' pressing needs, including the commencement of harbor and coastline protection projects. He also revealed plans to develop two additional islands within the lagoon of Nilandhoo Island, facilitating the establishment of resorts to enhance employment prospects and boost tourism opportunities for the local community.
The second destination of the visit was Dharanboodhoo island, where the president inaugurated the newly developed harbor of the island and met with the island council, WDC and residential community.
During the inauguration ceremony of the island’s new harbor, President Solih noted that his administration, unlike those before him, is working to implement developmental projects in islands, without any discrimination regardless of the island's population size.
Sitting down with the island community for discussions, the president reaffirmed that the administration's commitment to the development of Dharanboodhoo is in line with the aspirations and needs of its youth. The meeting also saw residents expressing their concerns regarding challenges in accessing employment opportunities, the absence of adequate sports facilities, and the lack of sports competitions to foster social connections.
During his meeting with the island council, the president was briefed on issues facing the island community including financial grant format for councils, the need for a multipurpose hall for the island’s school, as well as insufficient space for nurses to work at the healthcare center.
Speaking at the meeting, the President emphasized on his administration's commitment to inclusive island development through active consultation with councils and the active participation of the community.
Magoodhoo island was the president’s third destination as part of the visit, where he met with the island council, WDC and residents, alongside inaugurating the water and sewerage network and the newly built administrative building of FENAKA Corporation.
Meeting with the Magoodhoo island community, President Solih expressed his commitment to complete the Magoodhoo Airport before the end of his presidential term. The residents conveyed their most pressing needs and concerns to the President, highlighting the importance of road development and improvements in the health and educational sectors.
The meeting with the Magoodhoo council and WDC saw President Solih briefed on the most pertinent issues facing the island community including financial concerns, space constraints at the council office, challenges faced by the healthcare center, the need for coastal protection, and road construction were among the topics discussed, along with exploring potential solutions.
Following the meeting, President Solih visited the airport project site of Magoodhoo where he observed the progress of the land reclamation work.
The fourth destination of his trip was Bilehdhoo, where the president held meetings with the island council, WDC and island residents alongside inaugurating the new powerhouse and the administrative building of FENAKA Corporation on the island.
During the inauguration ceremony, the president highlighted that once essential infrastructure projects such as electricity, water, and sewage systems are completed, the island community will experience enhanced investment prospects and income generation opportunities.
The island council and WDC briefed the president regarding concerns facing the island community including on financial constraints to the council, the lack of sports grounds and facilities, the necessity for a school library, and the adoption of renewable energy in government offices and institutions. Sunday’s meeting also saw WDC members acknowledging and expressing gratitude for the transformative changes and revisions introduced to decentralized governance by President Solih.
The final stop of the tour was made at Feeali island, where the president inaugurated the new powerhouse, FENAKA Corporation’s administrative building and ice plant.
During the inauguration ceremony, the president said that results of handing over Ice Plant operations to FENAKA Corporation have been fruitful.
The first couple’s Faafu atoll tour primarily included engagements with the island communities and listening to their concerns, discussing solutions and gaining valuable insight regarding his development vision for the islands.
The engagements saw President Solih assuring the community and island councils that the government will engage with relevant institutions to tackle the issues raised at the meetings.
These visits mirror the incumbent administration's commitment to inclusive island development through intensive consultation with councils and encouraging active participation of the residential communities.