Queen of the Netherlands moves islands, causes shock and awe

The sheer speed at which the enormous dredging vessel Queen of the Netherlands has been reclaiming land at various islands has left some islanders open-mouthed with astonishment.

“People were truly in awe,” Hinnavaru Councillor Adam Yousuf told Minivan News.

Yousuf said it had previously taken nine months to dredge six hectares of land in Hinnavaru. The rate of the current reclamation project – 28 hectares of land reclaimed in less than ten days – was hard to believe for most islanders.

Currently Queen of the Netherlands is docked at Haa Dhaal Kulhudhuffushi where, within two weeks, it increased the size of the island by about a third. The growth of the island has left islanders a little disconcerted, Kulhudhuffishi Councillor Jamsheed Mohamed told Minivan News.

“When we wake up in the morning, the island is bigger than we left it the night before,” Mohamed said.

The welcome extended to the reclamation project on Kulhudhuffushi has not been completely unadulterated, however. The impact of the island’s rapid expansion has left the fishermen more than just disorientated.

“One week the harbour was on the West of the island, where it had been for generations. The next, it had moved to the north west,” Kulhudhuffushi fisherman Mohamed Iqbal, Dhinaashaa, told Minivan.

Added to the disconcerting switch is the lack of facilities at the new harbour.

“It is very far from where people live, which means that anybody wanting to buy fish has to walk a longer distance on Kulhudhuffushi than they ever have had to before,” Iqbal explained.

The newly reclaimed area is also far from residential areas, and does not have any electricity either, which makes running a fish market there extremely difficult, he said.

Councillor Mohamed told Minivan that while all the islanders are not happy with the way things are at the moment, they are all expecting them to improve. All islanders had wanted the new land.

“We are all hoping that things will change soon. We are hoping to have a new harbour within less than a year”, Councillor Mohamed said.

Bad weather, combined with unfamiliarity with the new harbour, caused an oil carrier accident as it approached the island on Sunday night.

The state-funded Rf109 million project to reclaim Kulhudhuffushi began on 21 September 2010, and is being carried out by Netherland’s Boskalis International. The Queen of the Netherlands is a trailing suction hopper dredger in its fleet.


14 thoughts on “Queen of the Netherlands moves islands, causes shock and awe”

  1. Who says islands are sinking??
    Absolutely no analysis on human environment.........virtual abuse

  2. We all civil servants are paying for all of this, with our salaries reduced by 15% for more than 11 months. Not even a single thank you.

  3. Hi

    Even Maumoon was awestruck by the progress re dredging works. "I didn't know this could have been done so quickly," Quite lucky we got rid of the guy. He seems to have been living in the medieval ages.


  4. Dredging at this rate without any environmental impact assessment, I Anni must be pleased that he got the environmental award beforehand.

  5. Seriously. Maldives has become entrenched in a corrupt bureaucracy, and has practically become "used" to the slow speeds on how work takes place.

    It's like showing off your Dualcore Gaming Computer to someone who has used a 386 computer for all his life.


    PS: Sorry about you losing your 15% in salary, civil, but the original raise was a bribe for people to vote DRP - and the current government cant uphold that sort of spending just yet.

    Why don't you start your own business or something?. That'll be more than enough to cover your 15%.

  6. our weakness is that at all levels we complain. when the there is no land complain, when land is available complain because they have to walk distances. we should be thankful to GOD for not punishing us for all this. learn to be grateful and thank GOD for all that we get. This Government is not even 2 years old and we talk of governments failures as though they have been there for ages. hats off to civil servants for their contribution to the developmental projects. The high salaried people should take them for a good example.

  7. It is obviousely amazing the speed this dredger can do its work ofcos this is nothing new for such kind of capacity & size of the vessel. They have done the dredging work in Dubai and many of the Emirate states and so on.
    If the motive behind this move (we have yet to discover the real cost of the charter of this vessel)is for the benifit of the people in the long run then it will help a lot for the future of this nation.
    However usually these reclamations are done with great Master plans, after many studys on eco impact and so on. But all such a sudden, I have a feeling there is some hidden motive behind. One guess for me would be the local elections.

  8. Ahmed Alia
    If I remember correctly, this government had a big function at President's Office with all the PSs and ministers behind the president just before the parliamentary elections, annouced so proudly that about Rf1 billion will be spent on civil servant's salary. Few months later when MDP didn't get the parliamentary majority, government penalised all the civil servants and made it even worse than before.

  9. Hey Radhun, I'll tell you the SECRET MOTIVE behind this project.

    It was to help the citizens.

    I know the concept sounds alien to some people, but that alone is the sole, legitimate purpose of government.

  10. You can't blame an old dude like Iqbal for complaining about the 'big' island he suddenly finds himself in. He's been used to his little island for most of his life. Bless the dude.

    It's young lazy shits that I'm more worried about. You hear about these new fancy 'donut' places in Male etc. The buggers are stuffing themselves and getting fatter day by day. The population of Male may soon start to beat the US as the most obese bunch of lardy bodies in the world!


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