Soneva Fushi hosts, communities come together for island clean-up

Communities of Maalhos, Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo island in Baa atoll, as well as hosts from the neighbouring resort of Soneva Fushi have come together in a pre-Ramadan island clean-up in Kihaadhoo.

The ‘Fresh Start’ clean-up — part of the ‘Namoona Baa’ initiative — was organised by Kihaadhoo, Maalhos, and Dharavandhoo island councils. The event held on May 7 was supported by Soneva Fushi resort, which is located nearby.

The objective was to sort and remove the waste that had been piling up in the Kihaadhoo waste management centre over several months.

Volunteers segregated all the recyclable waste, as well as cleared out hazardous garbage like disposable nappies.

The volunteers included island council presidents, vice presidents, council members, waste management staff and volunteers from the three islands, as well as Soneva Fushi hosts.

“The garbage has been piling up at our waste management centre for over a year. It poses significant hygiene risks – it got so bad that we’ve had to burn the nappies in open bonfires, three or four times. As part of the Namoonaa Baa initiative, Maalhos, Dharavandhoo and Soneva Fushi came and helped us sort out the waste just ahead of Ramadan,” Ibrahim Fazeel, Kihadhoo Council President, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

The clean-up saw:

  • All aluminium tins, and bits of metal segregated and packed into 20 jumbo bags. The bags of metal will be transferred to Soneva Fushi’s Eco-Centro waste-to-wealth centre, where they will be compacted and recycled.
  • An entire bay of the Kihaadhoo waste management centre, where used nappies had been collecting for seven months, was completely cleaned out. The nappies were packed and will be sent to Thilafushi.
  • Glass was cleaned and made ready for crushing. Soneva Fushi brought a mobile glass crusher to Kihaadhoo, and the crushed glass will be taken to Soneva Fushi’s Eco-Centro, where it will be mixed into concrete building blocks.

The ‘Namoona Baa’ initiative was launched in February by the island council presidents of Maalhos, Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo in partnership with Soneva, in response to the waste and plastics crisis that is overwhelming the Maldives and spoiling the environment.

As part of the ‘Namoona Baa’ initiative, Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, and Kihaadhoo island councils have pledged to end the open burning of island waste, in a radical shift towards eco-friendly waste management.

Each island will create an Eco-Centro waste-to-wealth centre that will sort, recycle and reuse island waste. The Eco-Centro waste-to-wealth model was pioneered at Soneva Fushi, which is supporting ‘Namoona Baa’. At the resort, food and organic waste, metals, and bottles are chipped, ground down or composted, and turned into things of economic value, such as concrete building blocks and fertiliser. Plastic waste is either recycled or used to create useful new objects.

Soneva has pledged funds from its Soneva Namoona programme to support creating the Eco-Centros on Maahlos, Dharavandhoo, and Kihaadhoo.

The first Eco-Centro is due to open in Maalhos this year. The open burning of garbage in Maalhos is expected to end shortly after the island’s Eco-Centro is fully operational.

Soneva is a pioneering family of hospitality properties and products, offering holistic encounters in luxurious and inspiring environments – from world class hotels to outstanding natural locations. Combining luxury with a conscientious approach to sustainability and the environment, and proactively changing the nature of hospitality, it delivers intuitive service and meaningful experiences to the guests.

Soneva currently owns and operates Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva in Aqua in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand.

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