In December 2004, a devastating tsunami hit the Maldives, a chain of 1,200 islands off the tip of India. Widespread flooding damage contaminated drinking water, ruined sewage systems, damaged homes, and the 200 inhabited islands were left with debris and garbage spread all over. In 2005, the Australian and Canadian Red Cross joined together to clean up the waste and to construct waste management and recycling centres on the most affected inhabited islands.
BWB worked with the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) to develop plans to introduce a post-tsunami debris management system, inclusive of household waste. A BWB Waste Management Engineer was recruited to assist CRCS and work with communities and determine the proper locations to build waste management centres. The BWB engineer spent 12 months on this project and was responsible for conducting environmental assessments, obtaining government approvals, coordinating with local contractors, and developing training and operating plans for the new facilities.
Local community volunteers were very active in making the project a success, and in improving the nation’s wellbeing. At the completion of the work, 79 Waste Management Centres were built and 77 communities were trained on proper waste management techniques.