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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the proposed levelling and earthworks of football arena in Nadella, South Huvadhu Atoll
Authors: Riyaz, Mahmood
Keywords: Football arena
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Existing marine environment
Existing terrestrial environment
Existing socio-economic environment
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Citation: Riyaz, M. (2016). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed levelling and earthworks of football arena in Nadella, South Huvadhu Atoll. Male': Maldives
Abstract: 1- This is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report carried out for Gdh Nadellaa Island Council to undertake earthwork and ground leveling of Gdh Nadellaa football ground. The project is funded under the sports arena development project carried out the by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in all inhabited islands. The project involves dredging of 50x144.4 area in front of the boatyard in Gdh Nadellaa lagoon and sources the material for ground leveling and earthwork of the football field. The EIA was prepared as fulfillment of the requirement by the Environmental Protection Agency under the dredging and reclamation regulation (Regulation 2013/R-15) for granting permission for the project. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of development projects is a requirement by the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (EPPA) (law 4/93) of the Government of the Republic of Maldives. 2- This report has been prepared in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations published by the Ministry of Environment and Energy 2012 and covers both negative and positive environmental and socio-economic impact arising from the proposed project in Gdh Nadellaa Island. Major findings of this report are based on information gathered during the field inspection of both the existing environment and possible effects of the project activities, through extensive literature review and experiences gained from similar projects elsewhere in the Maldives. 3- The proposed project activity will take place in Gdh Nadellaa Island. Gdh Nadellaa is an inhabited island and lies in Huvadhu Atoll in a 30 km long elongated reef located on the south western periphery of Gdh. Atoll. Nadella is rectangular in shape, oriented NW-SE, and is found in a huge reef that contains over 85 islands of various sizes and shapes. The vegetated area of Gdh Nadellaa is 44 hectares the island is approximately 817m long and 526m wide. Total area of the house reef is 5615 ha (56 km2). The island occupies 0. 007 % of the total reef area. Average depth of the reef flat greatly varied along the reef platform ranging from 20-0.2m from MSL. The distance between the island shoreline and ocean-ward reef rim is 250m and on the atoll- ward side is approximately 1.2km 4- The terrestrial environment is similar to other inhabited islands across the Maldives. The topography of the island is almost flat and the relative variation in ground level in different parts. Existence of Kulhi on the northern part of the island indicates that the island slanting northwards. Gdh Nadellaa has lush tropical vegetation around the island dominated by coconut palms but Scaevola taccada (magoo) Kuredhi boashi, Halaveli and coconut palms surrounding the island. Hibiscus tiliaceus (dhigga) is abundant throughout the island followed by Thespesia populnea (hirundhu). Occasionally, Cordia subcordata (kaani) can be seen in the wooded area and rarely mature Fiscus benghalensis (nika) . 5- The northern shoreline of the island has been altered after the harbour development in 2009. Large area of the island was reclaimed adjacent to the harbour area. Semi enclosed water body which has openings to the lagoon was completely reclaimed by filling with dredged material from harbour and access channel development process. The playground has been development on the lowest part of the island that seems be the main reason for exposure for flooding during the rainy season. 6- The proposed project involves dredging 50x144.4 area adjacent to the dredged area in front of Nadellaa boatyard to a depth of -3m and source the dredged material, approximately 21675m3sand, for earthworks and leveling of Nadellaa playground. The area proposed for dredging and sources material for earthwork and leveling is a very shallow (0.5 at high tide, exposed at low tide) sand accretion zone in Nadellaa lagoon. The area is covered with sand and seagrass. Coral reef on the northern side, atoll ward side, is approximately 1.2km away from the shoreline. Comparison of historical photographs shows that seagrass developed on Nadellaa lagoon after the harbour development work. There are numerous coral patches and individual coral patches in the lagoon. 7- During the preparation of the EIA report an impact matrix, which is a standard tool for identifying the possible impacts of project activities, has been created for proposed development project in Gdh Nadellaa Island. The activities carried out during the construction and post-construction or operational phases are arrayed against a selection of environmental factors that may be affected directly or indirectly as a result of project activities. 8- The report has identified and described in detail possible change that would occur to the existing environment during the construction phase and have suggested appropriate mitigation measures for each and every impact identified in the report. Lagoon dredging has been identified as the most significant negative environmental impact that could be associated with the proposed project. Post development impact of the project, after the earthwork and leveling, has been identified very minor. Also the report found, based on similar project activities elsewhere in the Maldives, the island and the lagoon environment will recover from the expected impacts rapidly and will re-establish a new ecological balance soon. However the report has come-up with an extensive monitoring programme to monitor, mainly beach dynamics and ground water quality that will keep on monitoring the environmental changes associated with the development and make necessary adjustment to the activities of the project based on the findings of various measured environmental parameters suggested in the monitoring plan 9- The study has evaluated alternative options for some components of the project and discussed alternative location for the football ground, alternative sources of fill material and alternatives location to dredge and source fill material. On the basis this environmental impact assessment study and the impact mitigation measures proposed in the report will be duly implemented and recommendations are given due consideration, it is concluded that the activities of the project could go ahead as proposed. As the project is expected to bring numerous social benefits and minimize its negative impact on the environment.
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