MVR 1.5M from India grant allocated for ferry services to Fehendhoo students

Parents from B. Fehendhoo escort their children to school in B. Goidhoo on a dinghy. (File Photo)

Maldivian government has allocated MVR 1.5 million from the USD 6.9 million (MVR 160 million) grant assistance by India towards establishing regular student ferry services between B. Fehendhoo and B. Goidhoo.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the fund allocation in a press statement this Monday.

Fehendhoo is one of the country’s least populated islands. The declining residential population led to the island’s school being closed down.

Students from Fehendhoo currently travel to neighboring Goidhoo for school on a small dinghy boat arranged by the Parents Association and Fehendhoo Council.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in its statement, said that the condition of the dinghy boat was deteriorating, leading to fear it may interrupt the students’ access to education.

“The aim of the student ferry service project is to provide a long-term sustainable solution, to ensure full and uninterrupted access to education for the students of Fehendhoo,” reads the press statement.

The fund allocation for the project comes after members of the Fehendhoo Council met with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on April 24 to express concern over the situation.

The grant assistance of USD 6.9 million was granted to Maldives for socio-economic projects during Indian External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Maldives from March 17-18.

Additional allocations announced this Monday includes a MVR 6 million allocation towards establishing a drug detoxification and community rehabilitation center in S. Hulhudhoo, and a MVR 8 million allocation towards establishing ice plants in two islands.

The projects run with the grant assistance will be managed by local authorities.