|Abstract: ||This document is submitted by the proponent to Environmental Protection Agency to fulfil the
requirements for an EIA under Environmental Protection and Preservation Act. The EIA
Regulations 2012 has been used as the basis for preparing this document. The proponent of this
project is Ministry of Environment and Energy, the sewerage network was designed by Malé
Water and Sewerage Company, and EIA was undertaken by consultants from CDE Consulting.
At present, sewage disposal for most households is by collection in septic tanks, which are
laborious to maintain, and susceptible to leakage if poorly maintained. The main rationale for
replacing the existing sewage disposal system with a conventional sewerage network is to
improve the sanitation facilities and health of the island community.
The proposed project covers five main components: installation of the sewerage network,
collection pump stations, sewerage outfall, house connections, and construction of an
Administrative Building. The project is estimated to take about 36 to 40 months to complete.
All project designs are 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, Decentralization Act,
Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation 2012, Waste Management Regulation, Regulation
on Dredging and Reclamation, Regulation on Cutting Down and Uprooting Trees and
Dewatering Regulation. Decision Statement for this EIA report, Dewatering permit, and
Domestic Wastewater Disposal Consent should be obtained from the EPA prior to
commencement of the project.
Gemanafushi Island is situated on a large reef system that forms part of the eastern rim of Gaafu
Alif atoll. The island measures roughly 55 ha; census conducted in 2014 reports a population of
1223 people. The island is surrounded by a rich dynamic reef system, the shallow lagoon around
the island forms a thick seagrass bed, and terminates to a healthy reef slope on the ocean side
which is frequented by a variety of shark species, and diverse range of fish species. The north
eastern corner of the reef system is listed an Environmentally Sensitive Area by the EPA, for this
Most of the negative impacts from this project are typical impacts associated with sewerage
network and building construction in Maldives. The most significant impact from this project
during the construction phase would be potential contamination of islands groundwater lens,
marine water, and disturbance and loss of marine flora and fauna. The project is expected to
have positive impact on overall quality of islands groundwater, health of the island community,
and sanitation system of the island. Of particular concern is the proximity of the proposed sewage disposal site to Maahera located
on the north eastern corner of the Gemanafushi reef. This dive site is popular with tourists due to
sightings of Hammerhead sharks and numerous other marine species. Environment Protection
Agency (EPA) has designated this site as an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). Alternative
options for disposal sites were evaluated in this EIA.
The key mitigation measures proposed during the construction stage focuses on reducing the
most significant environmental impacts. These include measures to prevent accidental spillage,
and spill clean-ups, discharge of any groundwater extracted back to the islands aquifer.
Relocation of vegetation, and live corals within the footprint of sewage outfall pipeline.
Alternative options were evaluated for the activities that are identified to have significant impact
on the environment. The main concern identified as stated earlier is the proximity of the
proposed sewage disposal point to Maahera ESA. Two alternative locations were evaluated, in
addition no project option was also compared against the proposed sewerage network.
Stakeholder consultations were held with Gemanafushi Island Council, FENAKA (local branch),
and Ampus (local cable service provider). The key concern by Gemanafushi council was
whether two pump stations would be sufficient, especially as they plan to develop a tourism zone
on the southern end of the island. FENAKA stated based on their experience at GA Villingili,
two pump stations may not be sufficient to handle sewage, once tourism zone is developed.
Ampus requested to setup a grievance mechanism in case any damages to the islands existing
cable lines. The following actions needs to be carried out by the proponent prior to the
implementation of the project; proponent to present details of the proposed sewerage system to
the island council, and FENAKA, and setup a grievance mechanism prior to initiation of the
Monitoring plan is designed to assess any changes to the physical environment during
construction and operation phase of the project. Estimated environmental monitoring cost of preconstruction
stage (if required) is about MVR 112,000. Estimated monthly environmental
monitoring cost for construction phase is approximately MVR 90,000. Estimated annual
environmental monitoring cost during operation phase is about MVR 125,000.
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.
The main conclusion of this report is to move forward with the proposed development with the
suggested mitigation measures, and alternatives.|