HIDDEN TRUTH ABOUT MALDIVES
Maldives are a Muslim island country formed from 26 atolls placed on the Indian Ocean. This former British colony has changed significantly over last thirty years. With an intensive growth in tourism, most of the Maldivians gave up traditional lifestyle to work for example, in hotels. The biggest island and the capital of Maldives called Male was transformed into small metropolis and has been fully urbanized throughout only three decades. It’s citizens are not happy with all the occurring changes, because they worry about disappearing of natural environment. A lot of smaller and larger islands has been sold to private investors and modified into tourist-friendly resorts. In the most exclusive ones the owners care for fauna and flora, but the problem of waste generated by tourism industry continue to increase and it’s only dealt with cursorily, away from the visitors’ eyes.
From the beginning of the 90s, all the Maldivian waste is gathered on special garbage dump islands. Moreover, segregation of garbage doesn’t exists, therefore dangerous substances can easily get into the environment. The easiest and still practiced way of getting rid of the trash is by burning it, polluting the air at the same time. You can actually see those dump islands, as well as dark clouds of smoke, but most of the tourists, and especially the investors, rather not notice them.
Unfortunately, this kind of actions result in negative consequences: destruction of natural environment, especially the underworld of Indian Ocean, depletion of fish and other water animals, devastation of coral reef and even species extinction. The water levels rise constantly which threatens Maldives existence in general and the public beaches are getting more and more dirty because of all the rubbish brought by the ocean.
We are not going to see these problems while going on honeymoon or diving excursion to see the underwater wildlife of Indian Ocean, but it is important for us to be aware and minimize the footprints we leave anywhere we go. We have to protect our planet in the best way we can!
When it comes to the Maldives - they are a very easy-going and helpful people, who are generally happy and usually helplessly in love with their country. It is worth opening up on their culture and customs when travelling to Maldives. Try to find local restaurants, cafes and accommodation - you can ask even in the nearby shop. One thing to remember is that nobody eats pork here, nor drinks alcohol, so it's safer to go for a salad and a cup of coffee with a local ;)