Resort islands basically are of two types when it comes to the beach. There are the natural beauties and those who can use a little bit of “makeup” to call itself a resort. Resorts like Baros, Angaga, Dhonimigili, Holiday island, Ihuru are true natural beauties where the real meaning of the description “powdery white sand” stands. Resorts like Ellaidhoo, Gangehi, kuda rah, lily beach, Moofushi on the other hand are protected by a concrete ring of sea wall which looks terrible from above the island but ok on close up. Our “resorts page” has an aerial picture of most resorts and is a good guide to beach conditions of a resort from above the island.
One thing the “natural islands” will not have to worry about is sweeping the beach for “akiri” or corals once in a while, which is a pain for those who undertake to this task on less fortunate islands. Most resorts do employ the general laborer force for such works but with the belt tightening process of recent times, its not uncommon for the whole resort team to be called up to clean the beach.
Beach cleaning is physically demanding work and with the blazing sun overhead, perspiration levels rising all the time, the personal preparations for appearing agreeable is ruined after a one hour’s stint. For staff who are in contact with guests, a one hour stint of beach cleaning is followed by another one hour of rest to freshen up and return to the camp.. on the double..
For islands requiring “Make-up”, it is required to dredge sand once every few weeks to compensate for the loss of fine sand by the waves. This is carried out by electric powered submersible pumps which may or may not be supported by a floating platform equipped with a sound-proofed generator. In some islands this process is carried out in precarious situations with empty barrels bound to make a makeshift platform to support the weight of the apparatus to lower the pump and the operators aloft. Pumping alone is an option for lagoons which does not have much gravel or corals contained but where the conditions are different, filtering the discharged sand with sieves are the better choice. Most resorts cannot handle big machinery for these processes although there are some resorts which have had their complete beach sieved by mechanical sieve machines when the resort was being build.
The environmental effects of sand dredging are indeed harmful to the corals if the water and sand pumped out into the beach are not contained properly. Left unconstrained, fine sediments which are scooped from seabed by the pump float to large areas of lagoon killing growing corals.