Coastal flooding – case study the Maldives example answer
The Maldives is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean. It has a population of 300,000. Of 1190 islands 199 are inhabited. Some of the islands are just q.5 metres above sea level and 80% of the islands are already 1 meter below. Because of the rising sea levels scientist think that the Maldives will be completely submerged in 50-100 years
Social problems include homes being damaged or destroyed by the fast moving flood water. This would leave many people homeless. It is also a possibility that fresh water supplies would be polluted leaving many islands to rely on rain water or build expensive destination plants to meet the water demands
Tourism in the main source of income for many people in the Maldives, if the main airport, male I international was to flood then no tourists would be able to arrive. male is so important that the Maldivian government has browed $69 billion from japan to pay for a three metre high sea wall surrounding the island it is on.
As the temperature of the sea rises it will kill some pf the beautiful coral surrounding the Maldives islands. This will therefore also affect their amount of tourism as they will not be there to attract tourists with. If the Maldives floods it could destroy resorts and therefore lose $2 billion from the tourist industry. The amount of money spend on costal protection in the Maldives is above any other payments for other public services and developments. The costal defences cost a lot of money to install and maintain and also loom unattractive to tourists. The largest export for the country is the fish processing plants which are on the coasts of the sands. If they were to flood then the Maldives would lose a lot of international trade and income from exports.
One island in particular, Thiafushi is used as a landfill site and stores the rubbish from the whole of the Maldives. 330 tonnes of rubbish is brought to the island every day. In 2012 it was described as apocalyptic. If the sea levels rise and flood this small island then the toxic waste would flood into the sea and pollute it, destroying many eco systems.
The soil is also vulnerable as is shallow, about 20 cm or less in some areas. This means that it can easily be washed away in a flood. Therefore it would be impossible to grow any crops. The high salt content in the water will also ensure that no plants are able to grow in any remaining soil.
The Maldives is at such risk from flooding that the government re considering buying land form India and Australia and relocation the citizens there.