|Abstract: ||This report is based on the proposed 14 storey building construction at the residence, G.
Hudhukoka in the capital city, Male’. The proponent is Mohamed Hassan Fulhu. The
proponent has appointed the contractor, Caution Construction Pvt. Ltd. to undertake the
construction works and project management including overseeing the EIA process.
An Environmental Impact Assessment was necessary for the works outlined in this report as
they fall under ‘Jadhuvalu R’ of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2012 of
the Maldives. In addition to meeting the regulatory requirements, the report would further
assist the proponent and important stakeholders to make decisions based on favourable
environmental conditions with the main focus on sustainability. The project also adheres to
several other rules and regulations in the Maldives and has obtained permit from the Ministry
of Housing and Infrastructure for the project to proceed.
The area the project is proposed to be undertaken is a moderately built area in central areas
of Male’. There is no natural terrestrial environment at site. The existing environment
therefore was focussed on the regional climate of Male’, and the traffic distribution, and noise
pollution in the area. The project area endures heavy traffic. This is further exasperated due
to limited space on the roads, resulting in frequent traffic jams. A general exterior overview
of the existing structures in the area was also observed. It was found that most of the buildings
in the area were old structures and maybe prone to some damages. A more detailed assessment
was undertaken in 2013, and there is no major difference visually in the past 4-5 years. Serious
structural defects are expected to be at a minimum, especially considering the standard
foundation protection methods.
The overall environmental impacts of the project have been assessed using frameworks found
in literature. Since the development is undertaken in a moderately built area, the results
indicate that the proposed project has neutral impact. However, there are some significant
impacts on the environment during the construction phase of the project and these needs to
be mitigated to avoid any significant damage to the environment. Significance of the impacts
and mitigation measures have been provided based on previous similar projects undertaken
in Male’ and based on literature.
A cause for concern regarding this project is the impact it will have on neighbours residing in
this area. As such, several short-term impacts are envisaged including air pollution, noise
pollution, aesthetic impacts, traffic issues and safety concerns. As there are numerous high
storey building projects being undertaken in Male’, there is no particular long term impact
associated with this project, albeit an increase in cumulative impacts. The main reason an EIA was required for the project was due to the height of the building, which consequently results
in a large population living in the same ecological footprint.
The notable impacts that do occur can be easily mitigated to minimise and/or completely
nullify them. Mitigation measure proposed includes creating awareness among the
construction staff and neighbours regarding the scope of the project. Other measures include
taking protective measures to ensure people residing and utilising the vicinity will not have
to endure the impacts during the construction stage. Foundation protection measures are
recommended and are provided as part of the project to prevent impact on neighbouring
structures in addition to a 1m offset from the adjacent building. Dewatering procedure also
needs to be undertaken with care, details of which are given in the report. Care should also
be taken to prevent any damage to the road and disruption to traffic during transport of
machinery and equipment.
Alternatives, including the no project option and alternatives for some project components
are also discussed. No project option is not viable, as construction is taking place in the
owners only currently available land. Regarding construction methodology, a few alternatives
are recommended. Regarding the design, there are recommendations to make the
development greener. These include interior landscaping to incorporate plants, use of green
walls, use of LED lights, rooftop solar panels, etc.
An environmental monitoring program is provided at the end of the report, which provides
details on the parameters to monitor on site, and the frequency in which it needs to be done.
Monitoring can be undertaken successfully by incorporating environmental monitoring in
building maintenance setup. Estimated costs for the monitoring works are provided.
Implementation of the program is essential for the sustainable development of the project.
In conclusion, it is discussed the impact such major housing projects have for the increasing
population density in Male’, and how it can be prevented at a policy level. However, as is the
case for all similar projects, taking this project as a standalone development project in an
already heavily built island city, it can be concluded that no significant long-term impacts are
predicted, none that the island community is not yet enduring. It is thus recommended that
given the positive socio economic impacts from the project far outweighs localised negative
impacts, it is advisable to allow the project to proceed as proposed.|