Capacity of stormwater pumps not adequate: MWSC

Male' Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC) has said the capacity of pumps used to recede stormwater in Male' City is not adequate.

Male' City has been experiencing heavy rain over the past few days, which resulted in the city's streets getting flooded. The company made the statement while Male' City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu called on the company to hand over maintenance and operation of stormwater pumps to the council if MWSC was incapable of the work. Muizzu said technical experts believe flood water is not draining as expected due to poor handling of the pumps.

Answering AVAS' question regarding Muizzu's statement, MWSC's Managing Director Hassan Shah said the stormwater pumps installed across Male' city are regularly maintained. If any pump requires repair, the company's staff attend to the issue, said Shah.

'When it rained most heavily yesterday, our staff were active at several locations and monitoring pump function closely. Saying that we do not maintain the pumps properly is a baseless allegation,' said Shah.

Shah said Saturday's floodwater was not drained immediately as the water from rooftops and those that collected on the outer Boduthakurufaanu Magu pooled at Ameenee Magu, which increased the load on the pumps.

'Currently, we have a 9 kWh pumps on Male' roads. This size is not adequate for the amount of rainfall yesterday. As Boduthakurufaanu Magu was built slightly more elevated than other roads, the water pools at Ameenee Magu. As it is not permitted to collect water from rooftops into the sewerage system, this goes through the stormwater pumps. The alternative is to increase pump capacity to 13 kWh. We will do that,' explained Shah.

Shah said it is possible to find a solution for the stormwater issue. During Saturday's rainfall, the company utilized an additional pump that had not been fully handed over to them and installed it between MWSC's Customer Service building and the Maldives National University building, located on Ameenee Magu.

Shah said Male' City's sewerage system was established years ago for a population of 50,000 people. However, while Male' City's current population is over 200,000, he added that a lot of work must be done to solve sewerage issues in the city.

'Muizzu called me this morning and said to resolve the issue without causing grievance to the public. Muizzu was the Housing Minister for seven years, and he could not resolve the issue in that period. We will work to do what he could not,' said Shah.