An uninhabited island has been allocated to Gaafu Alif Kolamaafushi Council to be used as a picnic island. The island given to the council is Hurendhoo, located in close proximity to Kolamaafushi, is approximately a 5-minute speedboat ride away.
According to a press release from the Planning Ministry, the allocation of Hurendhoo to the Kolamaafushi Council is in line with the regulations governing the provision of uninhabited islands to councils for non-fishing, non-agricultural, or non-economic purposes. This allocation is made in accordance with the authority vested in the President to assign uninhabited islands to be overseen by a council.
The Press statement reads, "... As Gaaf Alif atoll Hurendhoo is not currently leased to anyone, Gaafu Alif Kolamaafushi Council is to be responsible for overseeing this island, starting from today."
The island was handed over to Kolamaafushi Council and the necessary agreement was signed on Sunday, September 17. At a function held in the Ministry, State Minister Akram Kamaaluddeen signed the agreement on behalf of the ministry. Vice President of the Kolamaafushi Council Shahamath Haneef signed the agreement on behalf of Kolamaafushi Council.
According to the ministry, the uninhabited island is assigned to the Kolamaafushi Council for a period of 5 years.
President of the Kolamaafushi Council Ibrahim Waheed told Mihaaru News that Hurendhoo was historically used by the people of Kolamaafushi for picnics. He said the Council could not however establish picnic facilities on the island, because Hurendhoo was not under their jurisdiction. He further highlighted that this was the reason why the Council requested the government to assign Hurendhoo to the Council.
"We have plans to develop facilities required for a picnic island in Hurendhoo." he said.
Earlier this month, the planning ministry handed over an inhabited island to Raa atoll Maduvvari Council. Under the arrangement, Ufulandhoo, which had previously been designated for tourism purposes, was allocated to the Maduvvari Council for a period of five years.