Access to clean drinking water at all times is an extremely important need in every person's day-to-day life. And while we all have access to water when we are at home or even at our place of work, this accessibility is taken away when we step out into public spaces.
When people are out and about, the norm for Maldivians is to go into a store and buy a plastic bottled water, which is both inconvenient and wasteful. Especially as the Maldives strives to become more sustainable and eco-friendly, the practice of purchasing water in plastic bottles contradicts the country's goals for sustainability.
One of the biggest issues that arise with the purchasing of plastic water bottles is also that the lack of public trash cans leads to littering, a problem that is quite evident on the streets of both Male’ and Hulhumale’.
Accessibility to water in public spaces has become more and more common in the past few years in many countries so that people can refill their reusable water bottles at their own convenience. This helps with minimising plastic usage as well as easing the accessibility to water.
The move to make water accessible in public spaces has been a long time coming for the Maldives, and it appears that the necessary steps are finally being taken as the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has signed an MoU with Male’ Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC) to provide access to water in some public spaces in Hulhumale’.
While access to clean drinking water in public places has long been a requirement, this is hopefully the first step towards such developments all over the Maldives.