MP Haitham raises concern over planned sewage treatment plant in Hulhumale’

South Machangolhi MP Ahmed Haitham. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

South Machangolhi MP Ahmed Haitham has submitted a letter to the Parliament, raising concern over the environmental implications of a planned sewage treatment plant in suburban Hulhumale’. 

In a letter to the Parliament Speaker, Haitham said that multiple experts have raised concern that the tender for the sewage treatment plant project is designed in a manner which both environmentally and economically detrimental. 

Haitham said that the plant will release untreated sewage into the sea, and treated water into the aquifer. 

“Given that sewage, by its nature, contains pharmaceutical residue and microplastics, releasing untreated water will contaminate the sea and cause harmful effects to the environment, marine life, and humans,” he said. 

Haitham said the tender violates Maldives’ Sewage Disposal Regulation. 

Haitham said that under the project, sewage needs to be treated at a biochemical oxygen demand concentration of five milligrams, but only a handful of companies world-wide have that capability. 

He said that in addition to being environmentally damaging, the project is also economically detrimental. 

“Establishing and running a treatment plant of the standard stated in the tender will require 15 megawatts of electricity per day. Given that this is one-third of the daily electricity consumption in Maldives’ most populous city, Male’, I find that this will require a huge spending on the fuel needed to produce electricity, as well as management and maintenance of the plant and other such expenses,” he said. 

Haitham has asked for the Parliament to summon the relevant stakeholders for questioning, and look into the issue as soon as possible.