The Republic of the Maldives certainly is a beautiful nation comprised of nearly 1,200 islands and atolls.
Located roughly 500 south of the Indian subcontinent, the islands are also strategically situated at the Indian Ocean crossroads of the Middle Eastern oilfields and the many economic powerhouses of East Asia and Australia.
Other than being a logistical hub in the world economy, the Maldives is also experiencing a tourism boom that’s pumping in over the equivalent of $1 billion USD every year.
But there’s only one problem. The Maldives were suppose to sink under the waves as of last year.
As retrieved from the Australian National Library, a report by the Agence France-Presse via the Canberra Times on 26 Sept, 1988, noted;
A gradual rise in average sea level is threatening to completely cover this Indian Ocean nation of 1196 small islands with-in the next 30 years, according to authorities.
The Environmental Affairs Director, Mr Hussein Shihab, said an estimated rise of 20 to 30 centimetres in the next 20 to 40 years could be “catastrophic” for most of the islands, which were no more than a metre above sea level.
The United Nations Environment Project was planning a study of the problem.
But the end of the Maldives and its 200,000 people could come sooner if drinking water supplies dry up by 1992, as predicted.
As far as the dire warning that the nation’s drinking water supply would “dry up by 1992”, a full 23-years later, a rather interesting United Nations report was published in 2015;
Most of the population is served with desalinated water and some rural areas use rainwater. Access to water and sanitation services is high, however, water degradation due to high salinity and/or polluted water are serious challenges for the water sector in the Maldives.
Oh, so despite being one of the wealthiest nations per capita in Asia, the Maldivians are the ones to blame for their infrastructure breakdown and inability to control the very pollution they create.
Also in the news on the multi-island republic, the investigation if Maldives model Raudha Athif was murdered in Bangladesh while attending college.