At 10:59 this morning, Haveeru News Service reported that a fire was ablaze in Moaree Garage in Galolhu ward of Male’. This evening the paper reported that the fire had caught six houses and livelihoods of around 200 people have been lost. There are some issues that are visible by the complete absence of it.
Firstly, the social infrastructure to cater for such incidents is completely lacking. We have the Ministry responsible for Social Welfare, the Ward Office and other government institutions which lack the will and the capacity to cater meaningfully for the people who have been affected. They are busy with more important things that are needed for public relations and ceremonial functions of government. They lack the means, allegedly due to lack of legislations and administrative procedures and the existence of bureaucratic red tape.
Civil society has not evolved systems; and the organizations that exist – such as organs responsible for corporate social responsibility, do not have the interest nor the mechanisms to intervene in such incidents. The fragmentation of society into political camps which are blinded by their political convictions in responding collectively to community needs, completely block any consolidated efforts. Political and community leadership lack the foresight and capacity to respond jointly to people in distress.
Secondly, there is the short-sightedness of policy makers and the inability of the legislative and administrative mechanisms of the same, that ensure no meaningful action. Much of this is second nature to our policy makers who are driven by personal greed. The government and the main opposition is sure to captilize on the agony and ill-fate of those who are suffering from this incidence of fire, which has been reportedly the worst incident in living memory – in Male.
It will be interesting to see how government and civil society respond to this catastrophic incident. There will definitely be much drama and hype to muster goodwill for individuals, political parties, and lobby groups. There can be little to alleviate the agony of the affected, going by the past experiences. But definitely a lot of wasteful spending.