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Planet Care

357: Hulhumalé

Problem:

The Maldives, a tropical paradise spread over almost 1200 islands, is facing a rise in sea levels. The government is finding it difficult to cater to the economic and social needs of small islands

Solution:

Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, experimented with anti-flood solutions, starting with a massive seawall made of concrete tetrapods surrounding the entire capital of Male.

Gayoom was able to persuade the Japanese government to pay for the $60 million wall after the floods of 1987. The wall reduced the vulnerability of Male, which is a mile long and houses one-third of the country’s population.

President Gayoom’s next solution was a reclaimed island located in the south of North Malé Atoll, Maldives.

Called Hulhumalé (Dhivehi for City of Hope), the artificial island is being built up by pumping sand from the surrounding atolls and depositing it on shallow reefs that surround the original lagoon. It is being fortified with walls 3 metres above sea level — which is higher than the highest natural island at only 2.5 metres above the sea.

The official settlement was inaugurated by President Gayoom on May 12, 2004. The Hulhumalé Development Unit/Hulhumalé Development Corporation) was incorporated on March 23, 2005. Land reclamation has increased the island’s area to 4 km2 (1.5 sq mi), making it the fourth largest island in the Maldives. As of December 2019 the island has a population of more than 50,000; it is planned to house as many as 240,000 by the mid-2020s.

In August 2020, the Indian Government announced that they are providing assistance to the Government of Maldives to construct a State-of-the-Art Cricket Stadium in Hulhumalé. The project is one of the many centerpieces of the Hulhumalé Central Park development, which aims to convert the island into a future housing, industrial and commercial hub of The Maldives’ capital city, Malé.

Discoverr Solution 358: Free range, solar-powered chicken farm

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