President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih visited Gan in Laamu Atoll this evening where he met with members of the local community and delivered remarks outlining the Government’s development priorities for the atoll. He also inaugurated several recently completed projects in the island, including the CT scan service at Laamu Gan Regional Hospital, Laamu Gan Zone Stadium and the Laamu Gan Central Power Plant. The President stated that these projects are a demonstration of this Government’s commitment to decentralizing basic services.

The President emphasized, in particular, the establishment of a tertiary level hospital in Laamu Atoll, which now provides CT scanning services, and contains high-quality, modern health equipment. He noted that the hospital greatly enhances healthcare accessibility for the local community, who no longer need to travel to the capital to access basic healthcare needs. Moreover, President Solih announced that a Cancer Hospital will be built in Laamu Gan with the assistance of the Indian Government.

Similarly, he reiterated that the establishment of an electric power station will bring several benefits to the community while ensuring that their electricity needs are met. The President also highlighted that the establishment of a football stadium that meets FIFA standards in the atoll illustrates the Government’s intention to decentralize sports by facilitating large-scale sporting events nationwide.

President Solih spoke on the Government’s many planned projects in Laamu Atoll in the upcoming year, in the spirit of helping the region develop rapidly. These projects include: the construction of harbours; enhancing water and sewerage systems; strengthening disaster-resilience by establishing a regional emergency operations centre in Fonadhoo; improving roads; establishing police stations; and building football stadiums. In alignment with the Government’s efforts to strengthen the Maldives’ fisheries sector, the President also stated that plans are now underway to establish an ice plant by next year.

To help victims of substance abuse, especially youth, the President spoke with regard to rehabilitating and reintegrating them back into society as responsible and productive citizens. He noted that the Government has an action plan crafted specifically to address these issues through campaigns aimed at reducing youth drug usage, halting drug-smuggling networks in prisons, establishing more rehabilitation facilities and ensuring that the Maldives is never used as a transit point for drug-trafficking.

In his remarks, the President reiterated that the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed that the country must economically diversify rather than relying on one industry alone for its national income and economic growth. Accordingly, the Government’s proposed budget for next year, worth 34.9 billion MVR, will be used to diversify and strengthen several major industries including fisheries and tourism. Moreover, President Solih stated that the Government aims to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to every Maldivian citizen without any discrimination.

The President concluded his remarks with a prayer to Almighty Allah, in the hope that the Government’s projects can be successfully implemented and that the economy will soon fully recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.