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Campaign for coastal protection takes Fuvahmulah by storm

Fathmath Shaahunaz
29 August 2017, MVT 13:41
Volunteers of the OneFuvahmulah movement pictured during a beach clean-up. PHOTO/ONEFUVAHMULAH
Fathmath Shaahunaz
29 August 2017, MVT 13:41

A special campaign has been launched in the southern island of Fuvahmulah to combat erosion and strengthen coastal protection.

Organised by the “OneFuvahmulah” movement, the Save Fuvahmulah campaign aims to speed up the plans to construct revetments on the eastern coast of the single-atoll island, which suffers the most damage from erosion.

“Island erosion is the most dangerous issue facing Fuvahmulah. It has been over ten years since talks began to find a solution, but there hasn’t been any actual work done yet to make it happen,” said the campaign’s leader, Ismail Rafeeg.

Stressing the rapid erosion the island is facing, Rafeeg declared that every day that passes is another day that devours a chunk of Fuvahmulah’s shoreline. He noted that further delay will also pile up the cost and work to be done in order to properly combat the problem.

The government has long been planning to launch a coastal projection project in Fuvahmulah. Rafeeq noted that the Maldives signed a loan agreement with Kuwait Fund last July for MVR 183 million to finance the venture.

Under the Save Fuvahmulah campaign, the OneFuvahmulah group has commenced a major beach clean-up encompassing the whole perimeter of the large island. The volunteers involved in the cleaning event have collected 390 garbage bags of trash from Fuvahmulah’s beach over the course of nine days.

Rafeeq stated that the event will come to an end only after the entire coastline has been covered. He added that OneFuvahmulah is also working to raise more awareness among the island residents over the dangers of sand and coral mining, which can lead to accelerated erosion.

“We call on the people to see the eroded areas for themselves; for everyone to unite in speeding up the plans to protect those areas.”

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