Sustainable Development Success Stories

Formation of Male' Water and Sewerage Company

Location Male', Maldives.
Responsible Organisation WHO, Ministry of Health; Ministry of State for Finance and Treasury; Ministry of Planning, Human Resources and Environment; Ministry of Finance and Treasure; Bank of Maldives and Maldives Water and Sanitation Authority.

Funding was provided by: DANIDA (Danish Devlopment Aid), the Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), Rasmussen & Schiotz Holding A/S (R&S) and the Maldives Government (GoM).

Description Male' had inadequate natural water resources. The maintenance requirements of the sewage system were too demanding for the Regulator cum Water Utility. There was the need to separate the Regulatory function and the Service function of the Water Authority, avoiding conflict of interest and thus allowing a system that will effectively consider social and environmental aspects while being financially sustainable and providing efficient and consumer satisfactory services. It was of primary importance to incorporate modern management practices in the management of the water and sewage systems.

A Joint Venture Company was created to manage and operate on a commercial basis the freshwater production and distribution system and the wastewater collection and disposal system of Malé.

In 1992, the Government formed a Negotiation Committee and a Steering Committee for negotiation of the cooperative arrangements.

With the assistance of a consulting firm, pre-qualified parties were invited to submit technical proposals and financial proposals separately. The best bidder was chosen to be the joint-venture partner of the Government of Maldives.

Results Achieved The negotiations commenced in 1992 and finalized in March 1995 with the signing of the Joint Venture Freshwater of acceptable quality is now available in adequate quantity. Operation of Maldives sewage system has been improved.
Lessons Learned
  • Incorporation of socio-economic and environmental aspects of water supply and sanitation in the development of commercial ventures for basic services is important especially in the early stages.

  • Ministry of Health effectively liaises the company with the Government.

  • Particular attention needs to be given to avoid wastage, mistakes in process selection and in equipment purchasing.

  • Technology Transfer is a crucial element in this type of project.

  • Need for comprehensive human resource development plan. In this regard, it is important to have local counterparts assigned to senior and key jobs of the company at the initial stages of the development of the company.

Contacts Mohamed Rasheed, Senior Engineer
Ministry of Health
Tel. (31) 6199; Fax (32) 8889
Mr. Jan M.R. Olsen, General Manager
Male' Water and Sewerage Company
Tel. (32) 3710; Fax (32) 4306

Farooq Mohamed Hassan, Director
Maldives Water and Sanitation Authority
Tel. (31) 7568; Fax (32) 8889