Resort operator Soneva has announced the launch of its Namoona Baa initiative, a drive to open recycling centres at islands across the Maldives.
The islands of Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo in the Baa Atoll will receive ‘eco-centros’ to help with environmentally-friendly waste management and putting a stop to open burning of waste. Meanwhile, a centre in Maalhos has already opened.
Members of each of the three islands’ councils pledged to end open burning at a workshop held at Soneva Fushi.
The centres will allow workers to sort, recycle and reuse island waste. Soneva highlighted its Fushi property, located close to Maalhos, which grinds down food, metals, bottles and other waste into things of economic value such as building materials or fertiliser.
To fund the initiative across the three island, Soneva used funds from its Soneva Save our Seas programme.
Maalhos parliamentarian Mohamed Nasheed said: “What we have brought to our islands in the course of building a life, has taken us over – waste has taken over our reefs, beaches and islands. This waste is now a curse.”
Maalhos island council member, Abdulla Shujau added: “The eco-centro [initiative] is a revolution for Maalhos. After 20 years, we have turned our dump yard into a proper waste centre.”“Maalhos can now produce wealth from its waste. This is just the beginning; and we will roll out the eco-centros to Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo this year, and working with the government hopefully to extend the project to the whole of Baa Atoll – making it truly Namoona Baa,” concluded Soneva CEO and co-founder Sonu Shivdasani.