Male: Amid an acute water shortage in the Maldives, President Abdulla Yameen on Saturday decided to cut short his personal trip to Malaysia and declared two days of holiday to deal with the crippling water crisis in the island nation.
The country is facing a national crisis after a fire in its capital's lone water treatment plant and much of Male is still without drinking water.
The President has cut short his personal visit to Malaysia and will return back to the country later tonight, President's Office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali said.
The President has also ordered the closure of all government offices tomorrow and on Monday even as engineers struggled to repair the fire-damaged desalination plant and fix drinking water supplies.
The decision to close government offices was taken to "alleviate the difficulties faced by the public, due to the current water shortage," a statement by President's Office said.
Asking the people to "remain patient and united" during this hour of "national-crisis", President Yameen also reassured them that a "steady and adequate supply of bottled water would be made available until the crisis is resolved".
The crisis is also taking its toll on the hugely popular tourism industry of this island-nation. The upmarket honeymoon destination, famous for its crystal clear blue waters and white-sand beaches, receives over a million tourists annually.
Male, located on a low-lying island in the Indian Ocean, has no natural water source and entirely depends on treated sea water.
A major fire broke out at MWSC generator control panel on December 4, causing extensive damage to the cabling of the generator to the Distillation plants, disconnecting water supply.