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December 5, 2014

Reports of 'racism' during Maldives' #MaleWaterCrisis

Twitter users say expatriate workers forced out of queues for water rations.

A Maldivian woman carries bottles of drinking water, received free from a distribution center in Male', Maldives, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. (AP PHOTO/SINAN HUSSAIN)

As Maldivians queue up to receive water at designated distribution centres during a shortage crisis, some claim instances of discrimination against expatriate workers. Bangladeshi, Indian and Sri Lankan nationals were said to have been forced out of lines outside water distribution points by others waiting for assistance.

Around 100,000 people in Malé were left without safe tap water and a shortage of drinking water after a fire broke out at the capital city's only sewage treatment plant. 

A human rights group, The Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN), condemned what many say were growing instances of discrimination. In response, government officials clarified that expatriates were also eligible to collect water. 

As the stories spread, many online called on the government to take action. Some commented: