Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi has revealed that over 80 warehouses are located in residential areas in capital Male'.
A massive fire which rampaged through several buildings in Henveiru Abadhah Fehi Magu on Friday night originated in a chemical warehouse in H. Thilafushi. While the fire eventually spread to three other warehouses in the area, six other buildings were also torched down in the incident, claiming the life of a 49-year old woman.
Speaking at a press conference held Saturday, Minister Mariya said it is only permitted to store paint, paint thinner and agricultural chemicals in Male'. While there are 126 warehouses in the capital city, 82 warehouses are located in residential areas, said the minister.
"Since we [began administration], we have checked and inspected all these warehouses. We prepared a report on our findings, and discussions had ensued based on the report. However, we do not have the resources to check the warehouses at all times. We have to admit that it is unacceptable to have these warehouses in residential areas", said Minister Mariya.
The defense minister added that the current administration has been working to resolve the issue. While the government was made aware that residential houses stored and sold petrol due to its unavailability after 10 pm, the government took action by allowing petrol sheds to operate 24/7, which subsequently resolved the concern, said the Minister.
Friday night's tragic incident prompted the public to express their concern and disapproval regarding warehouses in residential areas on various social media platforms. Tweets and social media posts which had previously called to address the issue were re-shared following Friday's tragic fire.