Friday, September 18, 2015

The Ponds of Fuvahmulaku

By Dr. Abdullah Waheed
Dhadimagu Kilhi

Fuvahmulaku Island, an isolated atoll in the Equatorial Channel of the Maldives has two fresh water ponds (“kilhi” in the native language.) The two ponds are named Bandaara Kilhi (41 hectares) and Dhadimagu Kilhi (69 hectares). They are features that complete the uniqueness of the island.
According to legend Fuvahmulaku used to consist of multiple islands arranged in ring formation (Hussain Shareef, former Senior Assistant Atoll Chief.)  Over time the islands merged together. During this process two areas remained submerged, which eventually became ponds.

The two ponds of Fuvahmulaku are intimately connected with the population and their life.  In times past, the ponds provided the islanders fresh water fish, a staple part of their diet especially when sea water fish was scarce.  In more recent times the ponds played an important part in local tourism, most visitors to the islands going sightseeing to the location. During 2011 a wider attempt was tried to introduce international tourism to the island, taking the ponds as one of the main attractions.  An access road was constructed and a restaurant opened. However they now lie in ruins.

Most people agree that the ponds must be protected. In fact, now the ponds enjoy legal protection, albeit in name.

Mohammed Nasih, “The two ponds of Fuvahmulaku are natural wonders. They require protection,” Sunonline,, retrieved on 18 September 2015.

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