Rising sea levels are threatening the Maldives, and the Indian Ocean archipelago has already run out of drinking water. However, the new president Mohamed Muizzou believes that it is necessary to abandon plans to resettle the population. Instead, he promises that the country will protect itself from the tide through ambitious reclamation work and the construction of higher islands, argumenti.ru reports.
Photo: openverse by nattu is licensed under CC BY 2.0
However, environmental and human rights groups warn that such policies could increase flood risks.
The Maldives, known for its white sand beaches and beautiful coral reefs, is under threat of flooding. Former President Mohamed Nasheed warned his citizens about the possibility of becoming the first climate refugees and encouraged them to save up to buy land in other countries. However, current President Muizzu rejects this path, believing that seawalls and reclamation works will turn vulnerable areas into “safe islands.”
Tuvalu has already signed an agreement allowing its citizens to resettle in Australia due to the threat of flooding, but Muizzu refuses to go down that route. The Maldives’ economy is dependent on tourism, and nearly a third of its revenue comes from the tourism industry, according to the World Bank.
Ex-president Momun Abdul Gayoom first warned about the threat of “death of the nation” due to climate change. Projections by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say rising water levels could make the Maldives uninhabitable by the end of the century. Problems with drinking water are already occurring due to salt seeping into the ground. Reclamation projects, including the use of sand to expand the country’s territory, continue in an attempt to cope with the challenges facing the Maldives.
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