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Title: First addendum to the environmental impact assessment for harbor development project : coastal protection measures in Fainu Island, Raa Atoll
Authors: Water Solutions
Keywords: Harbor development projects
Coastal protection
Existing physical environment
Existing marine environment
Existing socio-economic environment
Existing coastal environment
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental management and monitoring plan
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Citation: Water solutions. (2016). First addendum to the environmental impact assessment for harbor development project : coastal protection measures in Fainu Island, Raa Atoll. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This report discusses the findings of a social and environmental impact study undertaken by Water Solutions Pvt. Ltd. upon request from Ministry of Environment and Energy. The project involves coastal protection works in Fainu Island, Raa Atoll. The project aims to:  Protect eastern side of the shore from erosion, by constructing a revetment along these areas and back filling.  Sustainably manage and overcome chronic erosion undergoing in the island. One of the biggest environmental problems facing Fainu today is the ongoing erosion and lack of shore protection and management measures to combat these. A harbour construction began in 2011 which did not progress. The resulting environmental changes caused by the partially completed harbour was showing up immediately. Since then, erosion has been a serious concern for the island. Another harbour was dredged and construction completed in June 2016. This has not brought any improvements to the erosion issue as no coastal protection and management issues were addressed nor incorporated in the project design. Historical data collected from available sources indicates that this area is been eroding since 1969 and more than 50 metres have retreated. Due to this, erosion has occurred and will continue to threaten the island from both east and west, east side being the most critical. Most critical areas have been identified as the eastern side of the island where more than 10 meters of land has been lost over the years. This is mostly attributed to the strong waves breaking on the east and due to the geographical shape of the island’s eastern side. Waves approaching the eastern side are bent around the south-east corner causing most of the erosion through diffraction of waves. Managing and controlling erosion is a significant environmental issue that needs to be dealt with. The success of this project will not only help the local environmental, but also safeguard the island that is going to be a vital factor for the future growth of the local economy. Risk of erosion is an important factor that determines the future of development of islands. Projects ranging from housing to more industrial in nature requires adequate safety and guarantee for locals and investors. These investments can be safeguarded with adequate shore protection which will ensure that sustainable land management can be undertaken by local authorities. Environmental impacts of this project was assessed and most of the environmental impacts of the project have been identified as minor. The project proposes to construct a rock revetment along the eastern side of the island using excavators. The revetment construction process does not foresee any significant environmental impact. Mitigation measures for the project have been identified mostly as processes and methods to ensure that the coastal protection will be sustained in the long term. They include the use of geotextile under layer, proper slope maintenance and the use of appropriate sized rock boulders. In addition, maintaining the right height have been identified as mitigation measures. In addition, completing the works in the shortest time frame is also an important mitigation factor that will help improve the overall project. The project is mainly driven by the socio- economic gain for the development of Fainu island. Stakeholder consultations were held with various groups, including the island council and the client in order to incorporate the socio-economic components in the project. Stakeholders, most importantly the island community represented by the Island council was the most significant as they have the maximum knowledge and experience from the daily difficulties faced and issues of the island. On a daily basis, the council receives request / complains from the general public on various issues and these have been incorporated in the report. Apart from these, key inputs from the contractor, the client and community representatives were taken in the design of the project. Some of the recommendations proposed in the report have been done so after thorough consultation with the Island council and where possible, these have been incorporated in the report. This project anticipates very little negative environmental impacts. However, there are always ways to improve things through monitoring and careful supervision as well as following good construction guidelines and practices. The coastal protection of Fainu’s shore does not foresee significant negative environmental impacts, and are manageable and can be mitigated easily. The project will have far too many positive impacts that will improve the quality of environment as well as the local economy.
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