President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that the Maldives is on the path towards the dawning of its first decentralised governance system. He made the remarks while speaking at the concluding ceremony of “Rahvehi Fathis” Decentralisation Campaign held at Alif Alif Rasdhoo Island.

The President reiterated that the changes brought to the Decentralisation Act had, for the first time, relinquished control of administrative divisions from the central government. The Act instead allotted the jurisdiction to atolls, cities and islands for the distribution of wealth and natural resources. He added that the Decentralisation Act empowers administrative divisions to take control of decision-making within their respective jurisdictions.

Highlighting the government’s role in preparing to resign previously centralised powers of governance, President Solih said that the government has, over the past two years, focussed on decentralising the provision of basic services to the islands. With a special focus on essential services, the government had successfully initiated work to establish water and sanitation networks in all inhabited islands.

Speaking further, President Solih remarked on the importance of access to universal healthcare across the nation. Noting that the government’s approach towards developing tertiary level hospitals in five regions of the country had already borne fruit, the President revealed that requisite infrastructure had been developed and procurement of equipment and human resources are being undertaken at a fast pace. Professional services such as M.R.I. and C.T scanning and access to specialist doctors are being made available from more regional hospitals every day. Highlighting that these services have garnered trust in healthcare services across the country, the President said that 392,533 patients sought O.P.D service treatments in these five hospitals within the year 2020.

President Solih also affirmed that the government anticipates the Maldives to recover from the current economic situation, brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, as an increasing percentage of the population are inoculated with the second dose of the vaccine.