With bicycles and an electric bus, Vaadhoo strives to go all 'green'

Electronic mini-bus in R. Vaadhoo. (Photo/R. Vaadhoo Council)

Vaadhoo, a small island located in R. Atoll, has launched a green energy project aimed at replacing all motorized vehicles on the island with alternative fuel vehicles.

The project is being run by the Vaadhoo Island Council in association with Vaadhoo Association for Future Development (VAFD).

Funded under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program, the project will be rolled out in three phases, and will see the establishment of a solar charging station, and the introduction of electronic mini-bus services, and the rent of bicycles to replace motorized vehicles.

The in-charge of Vaadhoo Council, Ahmed Ziyau told Sun the purpose of the project is to encourage the islands’ residents to replace their own vehicles with alternative energy vehicles.

He said the island’s residents will have free use of the solar charging station which will be installed at the island.

“This will encourage residents to use electronic vehicles,” said Ziyau.

The material needed for the solar charging system has been shipped to Vaadhoo, and installation work is expected to begin over the next one-month period.

Vaadhoo has also brought in a 14-seater electronic mini-bus as part of the project, which will be used as a mode of public transportation for school students and other members of the general population.

The bus is aimed at reducing the number of vehicles on the islands and cutting down the island’s carbon emissions, said Ziyau.

The project is run with the overarching purpose of making Vaadhoo a green island, and will also see the introduction of bicycle rent services. While the service is primarily for visitors to the island, residents of the islands may also use the service.

“The purpose is to encourage the use of environment friendly vehicles,” said Ziyau.

Ziyau said that the project in Vaadhoo was the first such project to be run in Maldives.

Vaadhoo is not new to green energy projects, having installed solar panels on the roof of the council headquarters and on the roof of the island’s waste management center.

“A key purpose of this project is to prove that the operation of solar energy vehicles is a very real possibility in Maldives,” said Ziyau.

Vaadhoo, located in northern Maldives, has a population of 612 people.