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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the proposed shore / coastal protection at Guraidhoo Island, Thaa Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Water Solutions
Keywords: Shore protection project
Existing marine environment
Existing coastal environment
Existing socio-economic environment
Existing coral reef environment
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental management and monitoring plan
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Citation: Water solutions. (2016). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed shore / coastal protection at Guraidhoo Island, Thaa Atoll, Maldives. 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 Housing and Infrastructure. The project involves shore or coastal protection works in Guraidhoo Island, Thaa Atoll. The project aims to:  Protect the east, south and south-west side from erosion, by constructing a revetment around the shore.  Construct four groynes along the shoreline where areas of the shore will be left to form a beach.  Ensure that erosion does not occur and that the reclaimed land is protected. One of the biggest development challenges facing Guraidhoo today is the lack of space. Due to the limited availability of land, reclamation of the island began in 2013 and is presently underway. The island has been previously joined to the nearby island of Kandaru as part of the harbour development. Despite these transformations, the island is still faced with land shortages. Although the majority of reclamation is completed, no coastal protection has been undertaken. As a result, erosion has already occurred and will continue to threaten the land. As reclamation costs lot of financial burden to the national budget, it is important to ensure that the investments made are recovered or protected. Managing and controlling erosion in the newly reclaimed land 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 investment 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. Environmental impacts of this project was assessed and most of the environmental impacts of the project have been identified as minor or negligible. No dredging or reclamation will be undertaken in this project. Excavators will be used to construct the groynes and the revetments in an area that has been highly modified and damaged by the reclamation project. 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 for the groynes 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 gains for the development of Guraidhoo 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. This project anticipates very minimal 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 Guraidhoo’s reclaimed area does not foresee concerning negative environmental impacts.
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