Construction begins on bridge connecting Malé to main airport
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 4 March, 2016 - Maldivian surfers continued to protest this week against a government project that threatens their main break.
Haveeru News Agency reports that a bridge is being constructed from the old Tsunami Monument at Raalhugandu in the Maldives capital of Malé to the country’s main airport. And in the process, the island nation’s favorite surf spot is at risk.
Raalhugandu is the only area available for surfers in the capital since most other breaks are limited to tourists staying at the adjoining resorts.
"We are not protesting the building of the bridge," the Maldives Surfing Association said on their Facebook page. "We are not affiliated with any political party. We just want to protect our home break. To protect what we love."
The government has banned surfing and swimming in the area during the period of construction of the bridge due to potential water hazards.
Eleven surfers were taken into custody during a protest of the project this week. The protesters swam toward a tug boat anchored off the construction site. But police motored in and arrested the group.
The bridge project is very large. According to Haveeru, a cargo ship from China was carrying five vessels; two 100-metre long barges, two floating barges and a tugboat. The project is estimated to be around USD300 million.
Find out more about the project, and support the Maldives Surfing Association here.