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|Title: ||Environmental impact assessment for the proposed development of Southwest Harbour Male’ City Maldives|
|Keywords: ||Project description|
Legislation and regulations
Significant impacts and mitigation measures
|Issue Date: ||Oct-2015|
|Citation: ||Sandcays. (2015). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed development of Southwest Harbour Male’ City Maldives. Male': Maldives|
|Abstract: ||This report discusses the findings of an Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed
development of Male’ Southwest harbour. The project is proposed by Ministry of Housing
At present, Male’ city is overcrowded with numerous industrial operations right in the middle
of residential areas. Among the numerous social and environment issues faced by the large
community of Male’ city is waste management and pollution. The project aims at developing
the southwest harbour so that some of the industrial work is relocated out of residential areas
and provide a dedicated area for transfer of waste from Male’ area to Thilafushi. The
proposed project entails reclamation of 3.7Ha at the southwest harbour and maintenance
dredging of south harbour. In addition, a new access channel will be provided to allow access
to southern harbour. Material for reclamation is to be obtained from maintenance dredging of
harbours in the greater Male’ region, demolition waste from west coast development project
and dredging activity at Gulhifalhu.
There are very few practical alternatives to the proposed project; alternatives to dredge
material and dredge areas are assessed in the report.
Environmental impacts were assessed for both the construction and operation phase of the
project. Most of the environmental impacts of the project have been identified as positive
resulting mainly from improved socio-economic situation of Male’. The main negative
environmental impact of the project is identified to be the possible movement of low to
moderate levels of sediment on the reef during channel dredging and reclamation. Movement
and settlement of fine sediments are expected to occur on the reef flat to a small degree.
However, effects of this would not be severe as sediment plume is not expected to last longer
and live coral cover at the location is minimal. In addition, temporary inconvenience to
vessels using the harbour area is predicted during construction phase. Overall, the negative
environmental impacts of the project are short-term and of moderate significance while long
term socio-economic benefits are numerous. Hence the impact matrices done for the project
indicates a net positive impact.
Impact mitigation measures are few. In order to mitigate inconvenience to users of harbour
during construction, an alternative location for their use for the duration of construction phase is proposed. In addition, bunds around reclamation area and creating settlement ponds are also
suggested to reduce spread of sediment plume during construction phase of the project.
Regular environmental monitoring and reporting is an essential element of the EIA process.
During the construction phase, in-situ monitoring of total suspended solids and turbidity is
usually undertaken in harbour and reclamation projects to ensure that water quality criteria are
met and sedimentation on the reef does not occur. It is recommended to incorporate these into
an island-wide monitoring programme, which is not within the scope of this EIA report.
In conclusion, it appears justified from a technical and environmental point of view to carry
out the proposed project to develop southwest harbour of Male’ city. However, before start of
construction phase, the consultants recommend evaluating alternative dredge material option
proposed in this report; as use of demolition waste from Male’ buildings is likely to reduce
cost of project.|
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