Establishing a waste disposal site

 Waste in Vaikaradhoo

Waste in Vaikaradhoo , Maldives © HLi , 2010


This project’s goal was to protect the coastal zone of Vaikaradhoo Island from the harmful effects of unregulated solid waste disposal. Its specific objectives were:

  • to raise awareness about solid waste management;
  • to manage solid waste disposal on the island to protect coastal and wetland environments;
  • to remove and use accumulated waste from the island’s waste management centre; and
  • to create employment.


Vaikaradhoo island in Haa Dhaal Atoll is dominated by coastal vegetation, including Pandanus spp., Indian almond (Terminalia cattappa), sea lettuce (Scaevola sericea) and coconut (Cocos nucifera). Fringing the island are tall, healthy mangrove stands.

One of the main environmental problems on the island has been the lack of an adequate waste management system. Solid waste is dumped haphazardly around houses, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Women clean up the island once a week, burning the refuse they collect, which emits smoke and hazardous fumes. Unregulated dumping is seen as a threat to the environment and a human health hazard.

Illustrious Happening of Arts (ILHAAR) received a small grant from MFF to introduce an effective solid waste disposal system on the island. Established as an NGO in 2005, ILHAAR aims to engage local residents in development issues. Engagement takes the form of sports activities, education and vocational training. At the start of the project ILHAAR had 300 registered members. Together they organize annual events such as celebrations for World Environment Day, sports tournaments, a Youth Challenge programme, and a Visit Vaikaradhoo Sports Festival.

Target beneficiaries

A community consisting of 400 households with 1,800 registered inhabitants. Their main livelihoods are fishing, agriculture and animal husbandry, in particular goat raising.


  • Construction of a solid waste management centre (completed in October 2009).
  • Organization of public meetings and dissemination of leaflets to raise awareness. 
  • Sharing of project leaflets with other local NGOs, namely, the Vaikaradhoo Initiative for Needed Advancement and the Vaikaradhoo Women’s Council.

Accomplishments and challenges


Illustrious Happening of Arts held two meetings with members of the community, and representatives from the Island Office. The project conducted two awareness programmes, one for members of the community in collaboration with the Health Office, and another for students from the secondary school.
Leaflets on three waste management themes were printed and distributed to various institutions and residents.

The solid waste disposal centre constructed by the project has helped to improve waste management and collection, reducing the environmental and health hazards of unregulated dumping and burning.


Project managers encountered some financial difficulties during implementation, as well as difficulty in mobilizing stakeholders, especially engaging volunteers.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Climate change

Effective waste management will reduce solid waste, water and air pollution on the island.

Lessons Learned

Support from the Vaikaradhoo Island Office proved to be the key to successful implementation of the project. Some flexibility is needed on the part of grant managers to accommodate unforeseen changes on the ground.

Project Facts



Vaikaradhoo Island, Haa Dhaal Atoll, Upper North Province, Maldives



15th Oct 2010 to 30th May 2011

MFF Grant Amount


Co-financing Partner

The community made a cash contribution of US$3,892.

Implementing Partner

Mr Ahmed Waheed
Illustrious Happening of Arts (ILHA AR)
Tel:     +960 7784541
+960 7797100

Related Images

  • Project proponents inspect Vaikaradhoo materials
  • Constructing the waste management center Vaikaradhoo MV

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