Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to loan USD 9.6 million (MVR 148 million) to the Maldives for the harbour expansion project in the island of Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaalu atoll.
According to the business news website The Financial, the project construes of the development of a cargo harbour for large cargo carriers, as well as establish long-distance passenger services. The finished project is expected to benefit the 8,000 residents of Kulhudhuffushi in addition to the 30,000 people of the nearby islands.
“The lack of transport connectivity is a major constraint to development in the Maldives, which has more than 1,000 coral islands scattered over 90,000 square kilometers in the Indian Ocean, making it one of the most dispersed countries in the world,” said ADB’s transport specialist Andri Heriawan.
“Better connectivity will mean many more people will have better access to jobs as well as schools, hospitals, and other medical services.”
The Financial details that the current Kulhudhuffushi Harbour caters to only 150 vessels per day, which is expected to increase to 250 vessels with the harbour expansion
ADB will also provide an additional USD 500,000 as technical aid to the project, which will be managed by the housing ministry. Kulhudhuffushi Harbour expansion is expected to be completed by December 2019.