President orders relocation of chemical warehouses

President orders relocation of chemical warehouses

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ordered authorities to relocate all chemical warehouses to a safe and isolated location away from residential areas.

The President gave the order during the meeting with the National Disaster Council following the massive fire that broke out in a chemical warehouse in Male’ on Friday night.

At the meeting, the President held extensive discussions with relevant authorities in regards to the current practice of storing hazardous flammable chemicals in densely populated areas and the threat it causes to the residents living in Male’.

During the meeting, officials of Maldives Defense and National Security briefed the President on the details of all varieties of goods storage and warehouses in Male’ and detailed that there are currently 126 chemical storages in Male'.

MNDF officials also emphasized the challenges they face due to the lack of proper rules and guidelines on how to deal with hazardous chemicals and stated that they are currently working on publicizing the rules and regulations on importing, storing and abolishing of hazardous chemicals in the Maldives. The President urged authorities to speed up the process and immediately begin following the new guidelines and rules.

Moreover, National Disaster Management Authority officials provided the President with the latest updated information regarding the progress of providing assistance and temporary housing to those affected in the tragic fire incident last night. The Authority emphasized that they have commenced conducting an assessment of 43 houses that were evacuated due to the fire and stated that they would give permission for the residents to return to their homes after conducting a full assessment of the affected houses and cleaning up the area.

The President also held discussions on the short-term and long-term plan regarding the storage of goods in the Male’ region, stating that the top priority is to relocate such warehouses and storage spaces out of Male’.