|Abstract: ||This report is based on the proposed 2500 housing units proposed for Hulhumale’ Phase II.
Eleven buildings in total will be built as part of the project, each 15 – 17 storeys high. The
project is being developed by Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and constructed
by Sinohydro, which will oversee the development and project management including
managing the EIA process.
An Environmental Impact Assessment was necessary for the works due to the large scale of
the project with high rise buildings. In addition to meeting the regulatory requirements, the
report would further assist the proponent and important stakeholders to make decisions
based on favourable environmental conditions with the main focus on sustainability. The
project also adheres to several other rules and regulations in the Maldives and has obtained
permit from HDC to proceed. HDC is a 100% government entity, which also has the
responsibility to set guidelines and oversee all developments in Hulhumale’.
The project is part of larger program by HDC to establish 15,000 social housing units in
Hulhumale’. Therefore, other similar EIAs have been done recently, most notably for the
7000 housing units projects. Apartments in these buildings can generally be regarded as
being targeted towards lower class members of the community, who cannot afford
commercial housing projects. The project will contribute to the grand plan by the
government of reducing congestion in Male’ by providing a large number of housing
opportunities in Hulhumale’. By 2019, it is projected that 15,000 such housing units will be
built in Hulhumale’.
The existing environment at the project site does not consist of any significant vegetation
and the water test result shows normal water quality. There are no residents living in Phase
II yet and there is no other structure at the site as well. However there are other similar
developments including the 7000 housing units. Other development in the land include
shore protection and road construction.
During the construction stage, health and safety standards of the workers at site, and waste
generation is the major areas of concern as is the case for similar developments. With
proper planning and project management, this can be easily mitigated. Impacts on water
quality due to dewatering as identified can be mitigated by dewatering inland. Waste is the
main concern during the operational stage of the project, in addition to social issues. Since
this will be developed as a condominium with multiple tenants owning the rights of the
building, it has to be ensured that the tenants are held responsible to properly maintain the
building. Impacts that may occur due to conflicts with other developments being undertaken
simultaneously can be mitigated with proper communication and planning before project implementation. Long term social issues are envisaged due to a large population living in a
concentrated area. Several social and legislative mitigation measures are proposed to
counter this. Also concerns regarding fire safety exists. Proper fire safety measures are very
important to be established as well as additional features such as sprinkler systems in each
Regarding alternatives, there are no viable alternatives available for the project with respect
to location, as the most suitable location had been predetermined during the planning stage.
The no project option is also not plausible at this stage and possibilities are outside the
scope of this study. Other alternatives including material, foundation type, construction
methodology are not necessarily recommended. Recommendations had been made to
proceed with the project as planned. It is recommended to dewater inland to an empty land
close to the project site after excavating the area to ensure that water is contained in the
allocated area, and will not have any negative impact on the groundwater aquifer.
An environmental monitoring plan is proposed to be carried out with 2 phases; one for the
construction stage, and one for 2 years post construction. Factors to investigate include
surveying the amount of waste generation, noise pollution, traffic flow, health and safety at
site and water quality.
The project in general has minimum impact as it is being undertaken in newly developing
land. All project specific building related impacts highlighted in the study can be mitigated.
The socio-economic benefits to Greater Male’ City from projects such as these is very high.
The project would go a long way in providing much needed additional housing
opportunities, which would contribute to alleviating the housing issues in Male’ City, and
therefore mitigating the issues related to congestion. Thus, after consideration of all these
perspectives, it is recommended that this project proceed as planned, after incorporating the
mitigation measures given in this study with the commitment to implementing the
monitoring plan given. Furthermore, proper planning and stronger legislation is required to
ensure sustainability of such projects and to ensure maximum benefits are reaped from
them. Building maintenance legislation needs to be strengthened to ensure such projects
provide the maximum benefits to the community with minimum risks over a long period.|