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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the reconstruction of Guraidhoo harbour, Thaa Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Maldives Energy and Environmental Company
Keywords: Harbor development projects
Harbor reconstruction
Administrative and regulatory framework
Existing environmental conditions
Existing marine environment
Existing terrestrial environment
Existing coastal environment
Existing socio-economic setting
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring plan
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Apr-2016
Citation: Maldives Energy and Environmental Company. (2016). Environmental impact assessment for the reconstruction of Guraidhoo harbour, Thaa Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure requested the services of Maldives Energy and Environmental Company (MEECO) to provide an Environmental Impact Study (EIA) for the re-construction of harbour at Guraidhoo Island, Thaa Atoll. The assessment addresses specific key issues stated in the Terms of Reference (TOR) as agreed between EPA and the Proponent following the Scoping Meeting held on the matter. This EIA report was prepared for the fulfilment of the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2012 with the purpose of conducting an assessment of possible impacts on biophysical and human environment arising from proposed development project. The project is proposed by Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure, Maldives. The proposed harbour reconstruction project include the following components; 1. Reconstruction of improved breakwaters for harbour basin and entrance channel; 2. Reconstruction of improved main quay wall and a side quay wall; 3. Maintenance dredging of the harbour; 4. Extension of the harbour basin; 5. Reclamation of small area of land by dredge sediment disposal; 6. Construction of revetments on a 14m section for the newly reclaimed land; 7. Installation of navigational lights. The present harbour facility at the Guraidhoo Island is greatly damaged and is not serving its intended function of providing safe access to the island and safe mooring of vessels. Additionally, the size of the harbour is identified as inadequate for the present need and expected economic growth of the island. The harbour forms a key part in many livelihood activities of the island and is frequently used by passenger and cargo vessels as well as vessels travelling to and from Laamu atoll. Hence, the improvement of harbour facility will greatly benefit the island community while also enabling future economic development at the island. The proposed project is not expected to cause any long term major irreversible environmental impacts, though few temporary impacts during the construction phase is expected. These impacts can be successfully mitigated by following the measures recommended in this EIA. The construction phase of the project is also expected to present several negative socio-cultural and economic impacts, which can also be mitigated by following measures presented in this EIA. Since the successful operation of the ice plant facility present at the island, after the reconstruction of the harbour is seen as a major economic benefit to island as well as protection of the private property of the business must be ensured when implementing the proposed project, it is highly recommended that the necessary relocation of the ice plant’s pump station and the pipeline is resolved before implementing the proposed project by following the proposed mitigation measures in this report. Overall, the project is expected to yield major positive impacts in socio-cultural and economic sector when the new harbour comes into operation. Based on the results of the assessments, this EIA study concludes that with the proposed mitigation in place, the project is justifiable, would be environmentally acceptable and could proceed in compliance with the relevant environmental legislations and regulations. In this EIA, the consultants have proposed an Environmental management plan to ensure that the construction phase of the project does not cause major unexpected impacts on the environment as well as to ensure that the proposed measures are working effectively to safeguard the environment.
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