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Private sector joins UNDP to rebuild Maldive homes

Private sector joins hands with UNDP to rebuild homes in Maldives

12 January, Male, Maldives – The island of Naalaafushi has been turned into a construction site since yesterday’s arrival of bags of cement, steel pipes, hammers and other building tools. All buildings on Naalaafushi were either badly damaged or turned into rubble when the Tsunami hit the island and left all residents homeless on 26 December.

“The disaster brought everything to a full stop on the island,” says Moez Doraid, UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives. “We are working closely with the government and the private sector to help those on the island to get roofs over their heads. Each new home brings hope.”

Earlier this week, two boats traveled eight hours, carrying 190 tons of building materials provided by UNDP, from Male, the capital of the Maldives to the island which is situated in the Meemu Atoll in the south. Carpenters, plumbers and other construction workers from the private company Banyan Tree Resorts were dispatched to the island to assist the local residents in the reconstruction efforts on the island.

Through this collaboration, UNDP aims to have all 291 inhabitants in new houses before the monsoon season begins in June. The reconstruction efforts in Meemu Atoll marks the beginning of UNDP’s efforts to reconstruct 400 new houses and repair 2000 housing units in the Maldives within the next six months. The Tsunami swept away 10 percent of all houses in the Maldives, leaving more than 12,000 people homeless.

A joint assessment team conducted last week by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Government of Maldives and Banyan Tree Resorts assessed the housing damages in three islands of the Meemu Atoll. The team also discussed the implementation arrangements of the reconstruction program with key stakeholders on the islands. The situation there prompted UNDP to provide construction materials to rebuild 165 houses in the islands of Naalaafushi and Muli. UNDP is also paying for the transportation costs to get the materials to the islands.

“Through the unique partnership between UNDP, the Government of the Maldives and Banyan Tree Resorts, our aim is to make the most effective use of skills and resources already available here. These joint efforts will enable more swift and effective large scale relief and recovery operations,” says Mr. Doraid.

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