|Abstract: ||The purpose of this document is to fulfil the requirements to get necessary environmental
clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out the proposed harbour
development project in Gemanafushi, Gaafu Alifu Atoll. The proponent of this project is
Ministry of Housing & Infrastructure.
The main rationale for the project is to improve the access facilities of Gemanafushi Island to
facilitate improvement in the social and economic condition of the island. The existing harbour
in the island is in urgent need of repair and maintenance. Furthermore, development of the
fishing and transport sectors of the island requires expansion of the harbour facilities for access
The project involves new and maintenance dredging of an area of 37,000 m2 to a depth of -3.0 m
MSL, demolition of the existing damaged breakwater and construction of harbour protection
structures. A quay wall of about 190m and a 290m breakwater will be constructed. A total area
of 17,000 m2 to the north and south of the harbour will be reclaimed to +1.5 m (MSL) and
protected using revetments. The existing harbour will be expanded by about 150 m in length.
All project activities will be in conformance to the laws and regulations of the Maldives, and
relevant international conventions that Maldives is party to. The key laws and regulations
applicable to this project are: Environmental Protection and Preservation Act and Environmental
Impact Assessment Regulation 2012.
The existing harbour basin and entrance channel had few visible live corals and were highly
polluted, with high turbidity. The dominant benthic substrate of the footprint of the expanded
harbour basin is seagrass with coral cover consisting of few medium sized boulder corals
Significant impacts of this project during construction phase of the project are the potential
impact of sedimentation on the marine water quality and consequent impact on marine life,
direct loss of marine life within the project footprint and the health and safety risks to
construction workers. All these impacts can be minimized with proper mitigation measures
recommended in the report
The main mitigation measures include carrying out construction activities during low tide hours
and calm weather, deployment of silt screen or construction of bunds on the northern side and
where appropriate to reduce sediment dispersal and avoid adverse sedimentation impacts,
relocation of live coral recruits to locations with similar conditions, and proper supervision of all
activities by qualified personnel. The work schedule and duration will also be planned to avoid
disruptive weather conditions and complete construction activities in the shortest time possible.
The alternatives evaluated for the project are dredging methods; dredge waste disposal sites and
alternative harbour layout. The “No Project” option has also been explored and this option is not
deemed preferable, given the current condition of the harbour and the need for expansion.
The use of excavator on a temporary sand bed is the preferred option for alternative dredging
method, since it is the most common, practical and cost-effective method. An alternative harbour
layout is recommended, to facilitate the flushing of water from the harbour basin, thereby
mitigating the accumulation of seagrass and other debris within the basin. This option is
preferred by the island community as well.
Monitoring plan is designed to assess any changes to the coral reef environment of the island,
coastal changes and depth variations of harbour area as well the marine water quality as these are
the key areas that will be impacted from this project.
The management plan for this project is designed to produce a framework for anticipated
impacts, including practicable and achievable performance requirements and systems for
monitoring, reporting and implementing corrective actions. In addition provide evidence of
compliance to legislation, policies, guidelines and requirements of relevant authorities.
In conclusion, this project has been designed in conformance to the relevant laws and regulations
of Maldives. The most significant impacts are expected to be short-term impacts on the marine
water quality, coral reef and lagoon bottom habitats. However, mitigation measures have been
proposed to adequately minimise these significant impacts|