|Abstract: ||This report addresses the environmental concerns of the proposed development of a resort on
Kandinma, Dhaal Atoll. The island is about 36.9hectares in its size. The Proponent of the
proposed development is Reollo Investments Pvt. Ltd.
The Proponent proposes to develop a modern resort on Kandinma with 220 Beach Villas and
70 Water Villas. With restaurants, bars, spa, reception, guest shop, pool, gym, staff
accommodation, staff facilities and different utilities including desalination plant, sewage
treatment plant, waste management center and powerhouse, the resort is an independent
economic unit. It has one jetty for guest arrival and a small harbour for use by service vessels.
The island lacks beach, which is an essential component of a beach resort, therefore, beaches
on the west side would be nourished using sand dredged from the channel and harbour along
with sand extracted from edges of the deep lagoon.
The proposed development will conform to all current environmental legislation including the
Regulation on the Protection and Conservation of the Environment in the Tourism Industry.
The main negative impact of the proposed development will be the impact of sedimentation
on the areas of the housereef on the west where the proposed harbour and access channel will
be developed and the impact of deforestation due to land clearance for proposed buildings.
These impacts are inevitable. Yet, every effort is to be made to minimize the impact and
footprint of the impact. As such mature trees will be further taken into consideration during
the construction phase by adjusting buildings during stakeout. If a mature tree were to be
removed, they will be carefully uprooted and transplanted elsewhere. The impact of
sedimentation on the reef will be minimized by taking into consideration appropriate
hydrodynamic and tidal conditions as the dredging activity proceeds. To minimize the impact
on longshore sediment transport, the walkways of water villas and jetties will stand on piles
with their footings buried in the seabed. Precast footings and columns will be used and
excavator movements shall be minimized. Excavator is preferably moved on barge to
minimize sedimentation and if high bed excavators were to be used, they will not be driven on
areas with coral since no structures have been placed in areas with live coral or significant
coral cover. Furthermore, sedimentation will be short-lived given that tidal and wind-driven
currents would normally carry the sediments away from the reef at all tides and monsoons. The other environmental impacts of the proposed development include solid waste
management, water supply, sewage disposal and energy generation. Solid waste will be
generated both during the constructional and operational phase of the resort. Constructional
waste will be disposed of by the Contractor to Thilafushi if a regional landfill or waste
management site does not exist. During the operational phase, a waste management center
established on the island will segregate waste and dispose of them in a manner prescribed in
Tourism Regulations as well as the Solid Waste Management Regulations. It is during the
construction stage that the waste is often not managed properly and waste ends up in the
environment. Therefore, it is vital that waste management procedures are in place during
construction phase to ensure waste is appropriately dealt with. Supervision and awareness of
construction workforce is highly recommended. Desalination, sewage treatment and power
generation are fuel-dependent processes and fuel efficient desalination technology, STPs and,
especially, generator sets will be installed in the island. Gravity sewers will deliver the
sewage and only a single pumping station will be used. Treated effluent with acceptable levels
of BOD will be disposed to the sea at not less than 10m below MSL and 5m away from the
reef edge. Therefore, the impact from sewage disposal will be almost negligible. In fact, the
daily peak flows is quite small that the proposed sea outfall would provide over 500-fold
dilution to the sewage effluent even if it were raw sewage, which would occur only in the
unlikely event that the sewage treatment plant fails. Hence, no further mitigation measures
have been considered for sewage disposal and treatment. Furthermore, the sewage treatment
plant, being an energy-intense process, may be avoided given that the outfall can be located in
a location where there is good mixing and a great degree of dilution and not used by tourists
or locals. However, sewage treatment in tourist resorts is a legal requirement without any
provisions in the Tourism Regulations.
Environmental monitoring has also been incorporated into the project. Arrangements for
monitoring during constructional and operational phase will be considered. Monitoring will
be undertaken according to the monitoring programme recommended in this report.
Recommended monitoring for the project includes the monitoring of shoreline at
predetermined and bench-marked tide level, beach profiles and drogues at locations given in
the EIA report, marine water quality at the location of the intake, brine discharge, sea outfall
and a control location, groundwater at a location close to the powerhouse and desalination
plant and a control location and quality of product water at 3 specified locations including
product water tank. Annual monitoring reports have to be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency over the monitoring period and shall include fuel and water consumption
data and greenhouse gas emission calculations.
The overall environmental impacts of the project have been assessed using appropriate
matrices and the results indicated that the proposed project has net positive impact. Given that
the project has major socio-economic benefits although there would be some negative
environmental impacts, it is recommended to allow the project to proceed as proposed.|