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Title: Environmental & social impact assessment for the proposed construction of housing units at Nolhivaranfaru, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Water Solutions
Keywords: Housing projects
Housing unit construction
Existing terrestrial environment
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Mitigation measures
Environmental and social impact monitoring
Issue Date: Mar-2011
Citation: Water Solutions. (2011). Environmental & social impact assessment for the proposed construction of housing units at Nolhivaranfaru, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: • This EIA report is prepared for the construction of 100 houses in Nolhivaranfaru island of Haa Dhaalu Atoll. The project will be implemented with assistance received from the Chineese government. • The assessment reveals that the major impact of the project would be the loss of natural habitat or loss of vegetation from the proposed housing area. This impact is unavoidable as trees have to be cleared from the site before construction can begin. • Therefore, the most significant direct impacts are going to be resulting from the loss of flora and fauna from this area. • The proposed area for the construction of 100 houses has already been cleared in 2008 for a similar housing project that was undertaken then. During that time, this project was also foreseen and hence, the land was cleared so that no future land clearing would be required for this project. • However, since then, the cleared land has been populated with weeds and wild trees but nothing of significant in nature. All coconut trees and other significant mature trees in this area were compensated; some were relocated and moved elsewhere. • Although land has been previously cleared for this development, 47 houses have been constructed as part of the earlier project. This therefore requires clearing of an additional land area to construct 47 more houses under this project. • Although this is the case, the proponent of the project shall develop necessary plans and implement the mitigation measures in association with relevant agencies to compensate for the loss of additional trees, especially mature trees. It is suggested to implement a replantation programme in consultation with the island and under the guidance of island office. Therefore, financial provisions shall be made available from the national budget to plant additional trees in the island. • The project will benefit the region by helping to develop the island as a regional centre. The project will help to provide better services, facilities and opportunities for new residents. • Several alternatives for the proposed project have been identified and they are discussed in detail. One of the alternatives identified is to construct multi storey housing flats rather than individual houses. • In light of this assessment, the proposed project has been found to have more positive than negative impacts, both environmentally and socially. It is crucial for the client to manage the project in consultation and assistance with other stakeholders if the environmental impacts are to be minimized.
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