President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has on Wednesday met with the residents of North Ari Atoll Ukulhas island. Addressing the gathering at the Ukulhas Convention Centre, President Solih stated that the purpose of the government is to serve the people. President Solih conversed with members of the Ukulhas island community and responded to their queries.

During the meeting, the President stated that vulnerable island communities such as Ukulhas, which are heavily reliant upon tourism as their main income source, had suffered the most due to the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that the collaborative efforts from the people and the government had assisted the country to overcome the downturn as one of the first nations to revive its economy.

Speaking to the residents, the President highlighted the concerns raised by the island council. The President clarified that efforts are underway to address the issue of the difficulties faced in using the island harbour and ferry terminal. He added that funds would be allotted for the road development project and the upgrades to the health centre in the next year’s budget.

At the gathering, residents from Ukulhas Island shared their concerns with the President. They emphasised issues such as the need for better equipment for the school and sports infrastructure. The President and cabinet ministers shared the details of the administration’s plans for alleviating the housing problem and answered public queries.

President Solih assured that the administration will work towards the progress of Ukulhas Island, stating that the government would recognise public perception to guide the administration’s way forward by shaping policies to reflect the feedback.

The President met with local businessmen and guesthouse owners from the island later tonight and enquired about the challenges they face. During the meeting, they stressed the difficulties faced in running their businesses due to high utility tariff rates and high-interest rates on business development loans.

Ukulhas Island is the President’s third destination on his current two-day trip to six islands of North Ari Atoll. President Solih is accompanied on this trip by a delegation of cabinet ministers and senior officials from the government.