Sustainable Soil Maldives

Location: Addu, Maldives |

We are Sustainable Soil Maldives and we are setting up a composting organic waste project based in Addu, Maldives. Under supervision of the TUdelft are Sterre Breedijk, Ruth Vraka, Thom van der Ent and Nicolaas van Zuylen, engaging on the project. To possibly destroy your expectation, the Maldives is not only crystal-clear seas and pure white beaches. The Maldives have many problems such as waste management, too little land for too many people and climate change. We are going to tackle two specific problems concerning organic waste management and agriculture in the Maldives, we will describe these more detailed below.

90% of food consumed in the Maldives (United Nations Development Program) is imported, mostly from India or Sri Lanka. This is because of the limited amount of fertile soil (or soil at all!) in the Maldives. Importing these large amounts of food leads to a lot of CO2 emission by shipping and makes the food much more expensive for the locals and resorts.

Also, there is a huge waste problem in the Maldives as there is very little space to get rid of the waste. There even is an island which is full of waste called trash island. Within the waste problem, people have a lot of difficulties with the disposal of organic waste. Most of the organic waste disposed of by resorts, households or other larger entities is thrown into the ocean at night! Often this waste washes up to the shore which pollutes the beautiful white beaches which makes the Maldives famous.

We want to find a sustainable and continuous solution for the problems above. To start with, we want to donate compost kits to resorts, schools, farms, households etc. so they can reuse their organic waste by making compost from it. We are going to use two composting methods to reach our goal: the first is a compost kit which we have imported with the help of the NGO The Soneva Group. The second kit we have constructed ourselves but is advised by many composting experts. This kit is more beneficial for larger quantities of organic waste and compost. The communities or people using the compost kits can do either of two things with their produced compost. First, they can use the compost for their own garden to provide themselves or their clients with home-grown food. Secondly, they can donate the produced compost to us, we will eventually provide local farmers with compost so they can have more fertile soil to grow their crops. This circular process solves both the import problem and the organic waste problem to some extent! We work together with agriculture consultants, the city councils on the island, multiple NGO’s on the islands and the ministry of agriculture to achieve our goals.

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