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Title: Environmental impact assessment for jetty work project in V. Fulidhoo
Authors: ހަމްދޫން މުޙައްމަދު
Mohamed, Hamdhoon
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Mohamed, H. (2017). Environmental impact assessment for jetty work project in V. Fulidhoo. Male': Maldives.
Abstract: This report discusses the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study undertaken by Independent Environmental Consultant (Mr. Hamdhoon Mohamed) recruited by Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure to construct a Jetty and associated dredging works at the Fulidhoo Island in Vaavu Atoll. This report is prepared in accordance with Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation (2007) under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (1993) and the Amendments to the EIA regulation. The purpose of this EIA report is to fulfill the requirements of the aforementioned law and regulation and conduct an assessment of possible impacts on the ecological, biophysical and socioeconomic environment arising from the proposed Jetty works project in V. Fulidhoo Island. The main rationale of this project to construct a jetty at V. Fulidhoo is to provide a reliable accessibility infrastructure for the island residents in V. Fulidhoo. There is an existing old jetty. However, this jetty is inadequate to meet the demand of the jetty users. Moreover, the old jetty is surrounded by accreted sediments which make the jetty unusable during the low tide period. The proposed project will involve construction of 31.5 m long T- jetty with 4 m width walkway, ground leveling the jetty area, dredging near Jetty area 40m width and 30 m length area, dredging a new entrance channel 24 m width & 181 m length. However, during the field assessments it was found that the proposed dredging area and the access channel have a depth in the range of 4 – 7 meters hence there will be no requirement of dredging during the construction phase of the project. Furthermore, it was found that if the jetty is constructed with a length of 31.5m, there may be a requirement for maintenance dredging during the operational phase of the project. Hence, it is recommended to extend the jetty length upto 60m which will reduce the requirement for the maintenance dredging during the operational phase as the depth of the jetty area will be around 5-6 meters. Key Impacts The project will involve impacts both during the construction and the operational phase of the project. The main project activities which may result in impacts during the construction phase include; excavation for piling the foundation and the footing of the jetty. However, the impact arising from this activity is expected to be short-term. Another project activity during the construction phase of the project which will have a significant impact is ground leveling of the jetty area. The ground leveling will be done from the excavated materials obtained from excavations to place the footing and pilling foundation of the jetty. The main project activities during the operational phase which may have a significant impact on the environment include: maintenance dredging during the operational phase of the project. However, there are very few scattered corals found on the jetty area, hence the direct loss of habitat will be minimal. Sedimentation will be a key impact during the maintenance dredging and with the proposed mitigation measures the impacts of the sedimentation will be reduced. The other project activities which may have impact on the biophysical environment of V. Fulidhoo is stockpiling of the dredged material. The stockpiling will be done on locations identified in this report which are areas of shoreline which are prone to erosion. Coastal protection measures will be constructed prior to stockpiling of the dredged material in order to reduce the adverse impacts of sedimentation. The major socioeconomic impact is found to be positive. The provision of a reliable accessibility infrastructure to V. Fulidhoo will improve the safety and livelihood of the island community in V. Fulidhoo. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the access to improved and reliable accessibility infrastructure will increase the economic opportunities for the island community of V. Fulidhoo in the form of local tourism. Mitigation Measure The mitigation measures were proposed based on conducting appropriate field surveys and environmental assessment of the V. Fulidhoo Island, proposed and alternative locations for jetty construction. The main mitigation measures which needs to be taken during the construction phase include carrying the excavation work only during low tide, exposing the excavated material to rain before utilizing it for ground leveling work and taking precautionary measures and making oil confinement equipment available in order to prevent oil spill accidents. The main mitigation measures to be taken during the operation phase of the project include conducting the maintenance dredging during low tide. Continuous monitoring of the turbidity of seawater in order to reduce the sedimentation impacts during maintenance dredging works. Stockpiling of the dredged material should be done after treating the dredged material with rainwater and coastal protection measures need to be taken in order to avoid sedimentation as a result stockpiling the dredged material. Alternate location, length of jetty and fate of the existing old jetty Alternative location for the jetty construction was proposed on the south-western side of the island. However, the field assessments suggested that construction of jetty at the alternative location will have greater environmental and social impacts on V. Fulidhoo. Hence, the proposed location was chosen. The length of the jetty is proposed for 31.5 m in length, however consideration should be given to extend the length to 60 m which will significantly reduce the chances for requirement of a maintenance dredging during operation of the jetty. The existing old jetty can be removed which will enhance the longshore sediment transport. However, the island residents and island council intend to use this jetty for commercial purposes such as loading and unloading of goods and construction materials. Environmental Management and Monitoring An environmental management plan with environmental monitoring was developed taking into consideration the impacts and mitigation measures to be implemented. The important elements that require checks such as seawater quality, beach profile, coastal morphology and currents will be monitored according to the developed monitoring program during construction and operation period. Although the project involves inevitable negative environmental impacts, such impacts are not serve as to not undertake the project. Mitigation measures have been proposed to adequately minimize the significant impacts. Hence, the project is justifiable in light of the socioeconomic conditions and anticipated benefits from the project which clearly outweigh the negative environmental impacts.
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