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The University of Southampton

Research project: An options appraisal for remediation of coastal landfills in the Maldives - Dormant

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The Maldives are a rapidly developing low-lying island nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean with a population of 330,000. 

Living in small islands can bring challenges to sustainable living. The population and numerous tourists generate waste. A major challenge is where and how the waste can be disposed of. This is particularly challenging in light of coastal erosion, flooding and sea-level rise. To date, the main landfill is the Thilifushi landfill, which is filling up. The Maldivian government are keen to remediate the site, and consider more environmentally friendly options and to reduce pollution around the site. Simultaneously, they are considering options at a newer landfill site at Addu City, in the south of the country.

A view of Thilifushi landfill, Maldives
A view of Thilifushi landfill, Maldives

Working with the Maldivian government, we are discussing possible remediation options. Given that landfills cannot easily be removed, the long-term options regarding their defence, particularly in light of sea-level rise is being considered. This helps to build towards achieving the country’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly clean water and sanitation and climate change.

Associated research themes

Geomechanics and Environmental Geotechnics

Related research groups

Energy and Climate Change
Waste Management
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