The houses in the Maldives
A village in the Maldives is created as follows: The village road is laid out in the main wind direction. This is also the main street of the village. The houses are then lined up on this main street. You often see walls between the houses so that you cannot look directly into the next house.
If you think of living and the Maldives, you might think of the dreamy huts on the beach or on jetties that luxury hotels offer their guests. There are also in the Maldives, but only for tourists. Most of the population is very poor and lives in simple huts.
Most of the islands are very small and sometimes only 100 to 300 meters in diameter. Roads are not built until the island is big enough. If it is a little bigger, there might be cross streets too. But only very few islands have car traffic at all.
Most houses are built from coral rock. There is enough of that on the islands. The roof always consisted of palm leaves. But now there are also many roofs made of corrugated iron. This is not so good for the house because the palm leaves, with their ability to let air into the house, made for a much better climate in the house. Now people get sick much more often because of the lack of positive air exchange.
Since the weather is usually stable and the temperatures are pleasantly warm, there is no need for heating. Otherwise, the houses are usually very simple with a kitchen, living room and bedrooms. If several generations live in one house, there are also separate bedrooms for women and men. Usually the Maldivians cook on wood fires, but gas bottles are increasingly gaining acceptance, but they are expensive.
Many houses have small courtyards with shady palm trees. People like to hang out here and the children play here too. Here you will also find one or the other hammock. Children mostly live with their mothers, as most men are out all day and often work as fishermen on the sea. Children seldom see their fathers in the Maldives, a country located in Asia according to cancermatters.
Children and School
Education in the Maldives
98 out of 100 inhabitants of the Maldives can read and write. That’s a lot for these many small islands, which are often completely isolated. Most of the islands that are inhabited have Koran schools, most of which are attached to the local mosque. Here teachers teach the children religion, but also teach them at least basic knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic. But there are also state primary schools. Most of the atolls also have a primary school and they are working on further expansion.
From the age of six, the children attend such a primary school, which then lasts for five years. However, there is no compulsory schooling. Even so, most children attend at least elementary school. Up to the age of 16, the children can then attend a secondary school, which can then be found on the main island of the respective atoll.
If you want to go to high school, you have to move to the capital, Malé. And whoever wants to go to university afterwards has to go to another country. There are few opportunities for children to attend other schools, and career opportunities are only found in the field of tourism. By the way, until a few years ago almost only men worked on the hotel islands. But women are now also gaining ground.
Threat to the islands
Soil erosion and rising sea levels leave the future of the Maldives in uncertainty. The residents are informed about this again and again and this education begins at the schools. It is said that the Maldives will no longer exist in a few years.
So far, the Maldives have been largely spared from cyclones, but if the sea warms up further, dangerous cyclones could occur in the Indian Ocean. In addition to rising sea levels, this is the second major threat that threatens the almost 1200 islands and their inhabitants. Artificial islands are now being created that are higher than the natural islands and are better protected.
These “life rafts” are to be expanded in the next few years so that later, if the islands go under, they can provide living space for the entire population. Years ago they even considered putting all Maldivians on a single island. Ultimately, they got away from it, because the island capital Malé, where most of the Maldivians live, recognized the problems that such a concentration would bring. It’s far too narrow here, too many vehicles drive through the streets, more and more high-rise buildings are being built and for many people life there is too expensive. Crime is growing and the city is facing major problems. If you then look at the many beautiful small islands, the difference couldn’t be bigger.
The climate change
But despite all these problems, climate change will be the biggest challenge for the small country over the next few years and decades. In the Maldives itself, attempts are being made to halt climate change and to completely abandon fossil fuels by 2020.
The waste disposal system is to be expanded and there are plans to invest in solar power and wind energy. Especially solar energy offers good opportunities, because the sun shines here many hours a day on the islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean.