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Monday, February 23, 2009

Rotten Paradise ?

I have just come back from one fishing trip at the Maldives and once again, since I started visiting the small inhabited islands to take photos, I have been disgusted by what I have seen. Every one of those little gems is covered with litter and garbage of all kinds. Cans, bottles, shoes, ropes, nets, chairs, plastic, buckets you name it. Most of this stuff obviously comes from the sea, a place that many people still consider as a gigantic trash bin, but more often that not you see small amounts of this rubbish been dropped there by unconsidered people, who probably don't know any better.
Talking with a Maldivian guys, and one who actually gets 100% of his income from tourism, he said that nobody lives in those islands. The way he was saying it meant that nobody takes care about them or even cares for that matter, which would be more appropriate thing to do. The government does nothing to keep their treasures clean and tidy and to educate or control the people, and the Maldives are slowly turning into a very pretty garbage bin.

Not to forget the amount of litter you see in the current near the islands, floating close to the coast together with patches of oil, ropes, and debris of all kind.

I have been travelling to the Maldives since 2004 and things, so far, have only got worst. The islands where the resorts are located are well kept, but this unfortunately doesn't happen in the islands where the locals stay, and Male is the living example for this, and those where nobody lives, which supposedly are inhabited by the local birds and visited by the tourists who sail around the Maldives with a mother vessel, and lands to those patches of sand and palms, to breath the purest essence of this, supposed-to-be, paradise in the Indian ocean.

Keeping the islands clean would be a source of income for some people and finding the better way to treat the litter is a major problem that the Maldives have to face in the nearest future. Not an easy task, yet not an impossible one.

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