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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the additional works required due to a change in scope of Emboodhoofushi - Olhuveli resort development project, Dhaalu Atoll
Authors: O & E Holdings
Keywords: Environmental description
Predicted impacts and its mitigation
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2010
Citation: O & E Holdings. (2010). Environmental impact assessment for the additional works required due to a change in scope of Emboodhoofushi - Olhuveli resort development project, Dhaalu Atoll. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This supplementary note for Emboodhoofushi-Olhuveli resort development project arises due to a change in the scope of the development works proposed earlier. EIA for development of Emboodhoofushi-Olhuveli was undertaken in 2008/2009 and the Decision Note following the approval of the EIA was issued in September 2009. The construction work for the project began in 2009. At the time of this writing about 60%of the construction works of the back-of-the house buildings are complete The developer has proposed changes Olhuveli layout which has been approved and endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. The major change has been to relocate the over-water bungalows from the western side to the eastern side. Five water-villa structures are also proposed to be placed on the northern tip of the Olhuveli. The reasons for this relocation are due to consideration on guest privacy, to accommodate plans for water sports activities on the western side and to provide better vista and uninterrupted view of the horizon for the guests. Western side is the main area of entrance to the islands with arrival and supply jetties and therefore will be noisy and aesthetically unpleasant. Part of the reason was also related to need to move over-water villas to a quieter and peaceful area. The shallow eastern reef flat provide and ideal setting for the over-water villas. In the Maldives, the appeal for the over-water villas is also the private swimming area right in front of the room. Unfortunately, the eastern side is dangerously shallow (<1.0m) for any type of swimming. In order to create a swimming area, the area has to be at least 1-5 to1.8 m deep. The developer is therefore proposing to scrap 0.5 m from the lagoon floor of an area about 4,000 sq m. This would generate 2,000 cubic meters of dredged material. The dredged material will be used for the enhancement of the eastern beach on the Emboodhoofushi. The sorted material when spread over the beaches extends the beaches no more than 5 m, well below the limit of the beach extension allowed by the EPA. Reef flat on the eastern side (atoll rim) is well developed with clear and distinct algal ridge. Spur and groove formation is evident all the way across the reef, but more so on the southern side towards Emboodhoofushi. The width of the reef flat (reef crest to beach) is 500-600 m along the proposed area for over-water bungalows. Passed the algal ridge a shallow sandy lagoon extends all the way to the beach. Small isolated patches of coral of exist in the area. Dense patches of Helopora sp (blue coral) were present close to the breaker zone. Deepening will be done by an excavator which will also have to be used during setting up of the concrete footings (piles) for the over-water villas. The dredged material will be used to enrich the beach of eastern side of the Emboodhoofushi. It is proposed that dredged material be sorted first and appropriate sizes are used for different sections of the beach. Impacts related to the development of over-water villas on the eastern side are due to the dredging and use of the material for the beach enrichment on Emboodhoofushi. The impacts from dredging are direct and immediate loss of bottom habitats and disturbance of fish fauna in the area. Re-suspension of the sediments will occur but is expected to disperse quickly during tidal flushes. Overall the impact from dredging and beach enrichment is considered to be minimal relative to the overall development activities. The monitoring programme was revised to include impacts identified in this supplementary note.
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