Locals disconnect causeway as severe surges flood Madaveli

Islanders dig out the causeway in 2018 | Photo: Maldives Independent

Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives – Madaveli Island Council report on Saturday stated that the causeway connecting the islands of Madaveli and Hoadedhoo has been purposefully destroyed amid flooding in Madaveli island.

This is the third time that the causeway has been disconnected by islanders.

Residents of the two connected islands keep disconnecting the causeway since it blocks sea current flow and causes sea swells and sediment collection to the two islands.

Regional news reports suggest that the sea surges reduced after the causeway was dug out forming a narrow channel to aid water flow.

Waves crash across Madaveli-Hoadedhoo causeway

Originally tweeted by Hussain Firushan 🇲🇻 (@husnfirey) on July 2, 2022.

Locals have warned repeatedly about the negative impact of the causeway on the island with residents requesting the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure through the Council to remove the causeway.

In 2021, residents of Madaveli and Hoadedhoo also expressed fear that the sea swells would destroy nearby farms if the situation continues unmitigated.

The environmental impact assessment report for the Hoadedhoo-Madaveli causeway states that

  • In the event of a storm surge, water will pile up on the western side bay area causing the rise in water level consequently causing flooding.
  • Even at present, periodic flooding is experienced during [the southwestern] monsoon due to storm surges. Therefore protection against storm surge is thought to be less and negative impacts high due to current design of the causeway.

The 440 meter long causeway extending from Madaveli to Hoadehdhoo was built in 2018 during former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s presidency and is worth over MVR 29 million.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih pledged to find a solution to mitigate the damages due to the existing causeway. The project of redesigning the causeway was handed over to MTCC in October 2021, scheduled to complete within 300 days.

This project includes 260m of shore protection, 262m of the approach road, road markings, paving works, and installation of streetlights. The length of the causeway is 383m.

According to MTCC, the value of the project is MVR 84.17 million and the project is to be completed within 300 days.