|Abstract: ||1. This Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is to fulfill the regulatory requirements
under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act of Maldives prior to the proposed
harbor restoration at Kaashidhoo in Kaafu Atoll.
2. Kaashidhoo harbor restoration project is part of the Construction of Harbors for Tsunami
Victims Project. This restoration project involves repair of harbors at 10 islands. The project
is funded by a joint loan taken from Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Saudi
Government and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by the
government of Maldives. The design consultancy was awarded to Alhabshi Consultants
Office, a Kuwaiti Company in association with Riyan Pvt Ltd (a Maldivian company). The
Agreement for consultancy was signed on 6th November 2008 between the Government of
Maldives and Alhabshi Consultant.
3. Project proponent of the proposed harbor restoration project is Ministry of Housing and
Environment. The project was bided as a design and consultancy project. The main design
consulting company Alhabhsi Consultants is assigned to carry out the design works,
preparing tender documents, carrying out EIAs and construction phase supervision
4. The proposed development project involves renovation and restoration of Kaashidhoo
harbor. During the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Kaashidhoo harbor facility
received extensive damages. These include damage to harbor quay walls and basin. Under the
proposed project, new quay wall (concrete sheet piles, L section) and breakwaters (armor
rocks) will be constructed. The harbor basin and entrance channel will also undergo
maintenance dredging to -3MSL. Since the proposed project is only a restoration project,
basin size will not be increased. The concept plan is formulated in light of the new third
generation harbor concept which is focused at functionality of the harbor. In this regard
harbor usage components such as passenger embarking/disembarking, loading unloading
area, fish landing, water and fuel recharging and mooring area will be demarcated.
5. The island of Kaashidhoo lies at the eastern side of the Kardiva Channel, located 20 km
north from the small Gaafaru atoll and 30 km southeast from Faadhippolhu. The formation
consists of an approximately rectangular-shaped island that is situated on the southeastern
side of a reef-fringed platform. Measuring 2.9 km in length and around 1 km in width, the
island covers an area of 2.75 km2, making it the largest island of Male' Atoll and the fifth
largest island of the entire Maldivian archipelago. The island is located at 04° 57' 20" N and
73° 27' 53" E.
6. The existing harbor facility is located at the north western side of the island facing the
western quadrant. The site boundaries are harbor area and entrance channel area. The harbor
facility will undergo maintenance dredging; a breakwater will be constructed at the western
side of harbor. Maintenance dredging will not be required for the entire length of entrance
channel, but only at the shallow areas.
7. The existing harbor footprint will not be changed due to the proposed project (area loss by
putting near quay wall in front of existing one will be adjusted from breakwater area), side
quay wall will be constructed at existing foot print, and a new breakwater will be constructed
(existing harbor facility is without a breakwater). Therefore the existing design of the harbor
will remain as it is. The length of the harbor after completion of renovation works will be
215.5m and width 85m. The existing entrance will be used after maintenance dredging. The
length of entrance channel is approximately 2500m, while width is 30m. The harbor basin
and entrance channel will have a depth of -3MSL after completion of the restoration works.
8. The harbor will have a total length of 252.18m of breakwater at the western side. The
breakwater will be constructed of armor stones and remains of demolished quay wall (where
significant damage is observed) will be used as core. The side quays will have a total length of
120m of type 2 design quay wall, while the main quay will have a length of 215.5m.
9. Dredge material removed from the harbor basin (maintenance dredging works) and entrance
will be initially stockpiled near harbor area since part of the material will be required during
construction works. Part of the sediment will be used for back filling the area in between the
existing quay wall and new quay wall and for filling the geo textile bags of breakwaters and
side quays. Approximately 6,000m3 (used as core for breakwater, filling area in between new
and old quay wall and filling geo-textile bags of main quay wall and side quay walls) of
sediment will be used of the construction work while rest will be disposed southern side of
harbor (1000m3). The sediment will be transported to the disposal sites on trucks, although
initially sediment will be stockpiled near harbor area for construction purposes.
Approximately 9,000m3 of dredge material will be removed from the harbor basin and
10. Two sites are surveyed for assessing the reef condition, site one was located at the northern
side of entrance near mouth of entrance (westerns side of reef) while site two was located at
sea grass meadow western side of harbor. Live coral cover at site one was approximately
20%, while at site two was very low.
11. It is important to note that the most significant impact associated with the project would be
impact on the marine environment from sedimentation. Dredging and excavation often carry
a heavy load of sediments increasing sediment load in the water column causing
discoloration due to suspended sediments of the impact area for a prolonged period. Since
the project is a restoration project, the extent of sediment plum will be limited at the harbor
basin area, while entrance channel area required for deepening is within the lagoon area and
far from reef flat area.
12. Since the proposed project is restoration project, environmental impacts associated with the
proposed project are considered minor to moderate.
13. Mitigation measures are provided in the report for impacts that were categorized minor to
moderate. Impact mitigation measures and monitoring is carried out to compare predicted
and actual impacts occurring from project activities to determine the efficiency of the
mitigation measures. It has to be noted that environmental monitoring has not been done
since the completion of harbor, and extent of changes to habitat, live coral cover and
shoreline is not known. Even though the project is not envisaged to cause impacts on
shoreline (since construction will be done at existing footprint), it is important to monitor
14. The main issue raised in the consultation meeting at Kaashidhoo by the IDC was the issue of
entrance channel, expansion of harbor and shifting of harbor 30ft inside basin area to widen
the harbor front road.
15. With due consideration to main environmental components identified and the magnitude of
impacts on these components from the proposed developments, the consultant concludes
that the project components and designs are feasible and appropriate mitigation measures are
given to correct and minimize unfavorable environmental consequences. Furthermore, the
public and community consultation responses were in favor of the project due to the socioeconomic
benefits foreseen to the community from a functional harbor.|