Maalhos hosts expo on reducing plastic waste

Soneva Namoona, in partnership with the Baa Maalhos Council, held “Israafu Madhu Misraabu – Fen Edition,” a water filter expo aimed at creating awareness about the environmental and health benefits of installing a water filter, and to familiarise the community with water filteration solutions available in the Maldivian market.The expo was held on B. Maalhos on August 11th, 2023.

At the expo, attendees had the opportunity to explore a comprehensive display of water filter solutions and talk to representatives from Male’-based local water filter providers Palm Tree Marine, Radiant Heat and RETAW Solutions.

Festival attendees were able to access product catalogs, learn about financing options for water filters and had access to special discounts from the providers.

A separate session was held for the business community in Maalhos who were interested in becoming business agents for the water filter suppliers in Baa Atoll. The aim of this session was to facilitate opportunity for the water suppliers and the local business community to work together to provide ongoing after-sales services for water filters in Baa atoll.

“Israafu Madhu Misraabu – Fen Edition” is part of a larger community engagement initiative that involves Zero Waste Champions, educational institutions, NGOs, students, and water filter suppliers. This collective effort underscores the commitment to sustainable practices and community well-being.

A baseline study into water consumption practices on the island conducted by Zero Waste Champions ahead of the expo showed that 77 percent of households that participated in the survey would explore using filtration systems if they were available. The survey was conducted with participation from 60 households.

Participants in the survey also highlighted the importance for additional information regarding water filters, access to suppliers and financing options.

A key goal of the expo was to fill the information and accessibility gaps identified in the baseline study, and inspire households to embrace water filters in anticipation of utility tap water connections being laid out to all households in Maalhos, due to be completed by the end of the year.

“All households in Maalhos will soon have piped tap water available. While the water provided will be perfectly safe for consumption, we do recognize that a portion of the population might still prefer additional purification systems. This expo has provided the opportunity to explore sustainable alternatives to do that instead of relying on single-use plastic bottles,” said Abdulla Shujau, President of Baa Maalhos Council.

“One of the major concerns with solutions to reduce plastic waste is that alternative solutions are not always affordable and accessible, especially in islands away from Male’. That is why we wanted to focus on bringing the vendors to Maalhos and provide the opportunity for people from Maalhos to also take this extra step towards reducing plastic waste. We hope that these systems become widely used by the public,” said Khady Hamid, Reduce Manager of Soneva Namoona.

Soneva Namoona plans to hold similar expos in future, providing households and businesses with practical alternatives to other single use plastic items.

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