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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the proposed reclamation at Kulhudhufushi, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Water Solutions
Keywords: Existing coastal environment
Existing marine environment
Environmental impacts and mitigation
Stakeholder consultations
Environmental monitoring
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2010
Citation: Water Solutions. (2010). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed reclamation at Kulhudhufushi, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives. Male':Maldives
Abstract: This report discusses the findings of an environmental impact assessment undertaken by Water Solutions Pvt. Ltd for undertaking the proposed reclamation project second phase at Kulhudhufushi. Phase 1 of the reclamation project was implemented in 2008. Details of the project could be found in the EIA for the Proposed Harbour Construciton Phase 1 of Kulhudhushi (March 2008). The Environmental Impact Assessment for this project has been divided into two phases. This report presents the findings of the Phase 1, which presents the details of the proposed reclamation project, anticipated environmental impacts from project components, mitigation measures proposed to minimise the identified environmental impacts and environmental monitoring plan. The second phase of the EIA will have details of the monitoring that would be undertaken before and after the project is implemented. This project is proposed by Ministry of Housing and Environment. Kulhudhufushi is located on the eastern rim of Haa Dhaalu atoll. The reclamation of kulhudhufushi in this phase will include reclamation of an area of 285,000 m2 and providing coastal protection. Mostly reclamation projects have impacts arising from both dredging and reclamation works, but for this project, there will not be any dredging from the house reef. The project involves pumping of sand from a borrow area and using them as fill material for the proposed reclamation using 800,000 cubmic meters of sand. This EIA report has identified impacts during construction stage. During the construction stage, impacts will be felt on the coastal and the marine environment. Impacts on the marine environment will be felt through direct loss of sea grass communities and permanent alteration of the seabed. In addition, there will be sedimentation and siltation caused by the pumping operation by the hopper dredge and reclamation activities on the lagoon and the associated minor indirect impacts on the coral reef, during this period. Coastal impacts will also be felt as a result of alteration brought about. The most significant impacts of this project will be that of the social benefit arising from the reclamation component. Baseline data has been collected during the phase one of the reclamation project. In order to monitor the changes to the coastal and marine environment, a monitoring programme need to be implemented and changers to the existing environment will be identified in periodical monitoring reports. Alternatives to the project have been considered and several alternatives to the proposed project were considered. The advantages and disadvantages of these alternatives have been discussed and they include environmental as well as economic reasons. Towards, the end of the report, a monitoring programme has been suggested which covers components of coastal, social and the marine environment. These include coral cover and marine water quality among many other parameters. The proponent also commits to undertake the monitoring programme set out in this EIA report knowing that monitoring will help to identify the effectiveness of the mitigation measures and take precautions to minimize any damage to the main tourist attraction of the island, which is its environment. Therefore, it appears justified from a technical, social, economic and environmental point of view, to carry out the proposed reclamation project.
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