Business in Maldives, the honeymoon islands, is hard hit as the water crisis entered its fourth day on Monday.
Male, the capital of Maldives, has been facing a shortage of potable water after a fire at the water treatment plant left more than 100,000 people of the island without access to clean water. The government has been providing bottled water free of charge to the residents but sustainability has become a problem.
The water crisis in the island nation, which greatly relies on tourism for business, has left the region reeling.
Restaurants and hotels have closed down. There is a drop in hygiene standards, which is why major hotels have chosen to remain shut.
"Customer complaints would increase if quality service isn't provided. This would lead to customers hesitating to even return here. So we (have) decided to temporarily close (down) until the water issue is resolved," Mohamed Azum, the manager of popular restaurant "City Garden" told Xinhua news agency.
Unrest Due to Water Shortage
The government declared Sunday and Monday public holidays on account of the mounting civic trouble and urged Maldivians to remain "patient and united" while the government resolved the national crisis.
People are "unhappy" and "angry" amid the mounting water shortage problem.
"Economic Crisis will come shortly. People are unhappy, angry and the queue in for water is also long," Aminath Sanooha Shameem, a resident of Male who is now helping out at the public office distributing bottled water, told International Business Times exclusively.
"It's very tough. No water in any flush tanks or in our toilets," she added.
Help is At Hand
The government of Maldives declared a water emergency and appealed to several neighboring countries like India, China, Sri Lanka and even the U.S. for help. Maldivian President Abdullah Yameen cut short his visit to Malaysia to deal with the problem.
A government official said that restoration of proper water supply would cost about $20 million. Until then, neighboring nations are already rushing to help Maldives with its water crisis.
India reportedly dispatched a Navy ship holding 1,000 tons of fresh water. The ship also has the capability of producing 20 tons of clean water everyday even while anchored, according to NDTV.
China has also donated $500,000 to the Maldivian government to speed up the repair process of the water treatment plant.
"The Chinese government has already come forward with a $500,000 donation. Discussions are ongoing with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and other Arab governments. We hope to get monetary aid from them," Maldives Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim told reporters.
China has also been supplying water to Maldives via commercial flights. The first batch carried 15 tons of drinking water. Each person is being allowed two 1.5 litre bottles.
Sanooha, the resident, thinks the situation will take at least 2 weeks to stabilize.