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Title: EIA report for restoration of K. Kaashidhoo harbour under construction of harbours for Tsunami Victims Project
Authors: Land and Marine Environmental Resources Group
Keywords: Harbor restoration
Beach environment
Marine surveys
Construction impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental Protection and Preservation Act
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)
National Environmental Action Plan II (NEAP II)
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2010
Citation: Land and Marine Environmental Resources Group. (2010). EIA report for restoration of K. Kaashidhoo harbour under construction of harbours for Tsunami Victims Project. Male': Maldives
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 consultant. 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 entrance channel. 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 shoreline changes. 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.
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