Ukulhas(Dhivehi: އުކުޅަސް), one of the inhabited islands of Alif Alif Atoll, is a uniquely featured, environmentally friendly island in the Maldives.
Ukulhas is well known for its cleanliness, well-maintained waste management system and also known as first systematically waste managed island in the history of Republic of Maldives. Ukulhas conducts several cleaning and planting programs each year and organizes several awareness programs on waste management, marine ecosystems, and biodiversity. As being recognized as an environmental role model island in the Republic of Maldives, Ukulhas achieved a Green Leaf award in 2014 for its outstanding services on protecting and preserving the island’s environment.
Ukulhas is close to the Northern boundary of Alif Alif Atoll, at 72° 51′ 52″ E, 04° 12′ 54″ N. The island is 71.68 km (45 mi; 39 nmi) west of the country’s capital, Malé. It is an oval-shaped, flat coral sand cay, oriented North-West to South-East, 1025 meters long, 225 meters wide, for an area of 17.4 hectares.
Ukulhas has a tropical climate however warm temperature year around could experience with sunshine. The warm climate has got relatively minor variation in daily temperature throughout a year period. The weather is seemed to large during monsoons. Southwest monsoon lasts from May to November when the northeast monsoon goes from December to April. April is the hottest in average and December is to be recorded as coolest season in average. The month February is notably seen as the driest season while December to April being relatively dries. Maldives is lucky to be remaining as a safe and harmonious country as severe storms are rare made by its location in the equatorial belt.
The island has had a series of political changes throughout the last couple of decades. Before the existence and the ratification of present constitution, the island had been entirely centralized by the central government. The island had a chief (Head of the Island) who had to be appointed by the Atoll chief (Head of Atoll). The atoll chief was a person who had to be appointed by the Minister of Atolls and Administration.
After the ratification of the present constitution dated on 7 August 2008, within the democratic movement in the government everything had revolved. The centralized system of the government had changed into a decentralized system. Local governments were formed in the name of local councils. Councilors were elected by the people of the island.
Tourism in Ukulhas formally started on 15 November 2012. The first guest house in Ukulhas is Ukulhas Inn which was founded by Mr. Ibrahim Shifaz Shaukath, Ever Blue, Aa. Ukulhas and registered on 12 September 2012. The First International tourist who visited Ukulhas formally was a Thai national named Mr. Bandarn Suetrong, who made the booking through agoda.com and travelled Maldives from Thailand. He visited Ukulhas on 15 Nov 2012 and departed on 18 Nov 2012 (stayed in Ukulhas for four days).
Ukulhas cafés and restaurants offer diversify cuisines including western, eastern, Indian, Thai, continental and Maldivian ones. As Ukulhas is famous for fishing, fishes have always been the most prominent element of Ukulhas food. Especially sea food dinner makes you the keen interest of Maldivian taste. Like other parts of Maldives, Ukulhas food is spicy even though restaurants are ready to meet up your taste requirements by making it milder. Sweet, sour, hot and spicy foods are common in Ukulhas.
‘Ukulhahu School’ established in the island of Ukulhas is recognized and notified as the first ever A-Level institution in the North Ari Atoll in the history of its archipelago. The A Level studies program (A Level campaign) was started and initiated with an immense effort led by the people of Ukulhas Island.
After the inauguration of the A-Level program, Ukulhas community composed an organizing and managing committee for the A-Level program in the name of “A Level Committee”. When the A-level committee emerged from the first day itself they started its functions, trying to cross all the steps towards its establishment and sustainability. With enormous and tremendous efforts led together by the A Level Committee and the citizens of ukulhas the A-Level program has reaped immense success as the first A- level batch of the institution achieved the national top ten awards. For the continuity and sustainability of the ‘Ukulhas A Level program’ from the beginning, the citizens of ukulhas have been filling their commitment volunteering and providing free aid for all the students at all means if it is in relation with their academic progress.
Qualified students from other islands are highly invited to join the program with Ukulhas Community providing everything required for the whole A Level program including travel costs, accommodation, clothing, uniform, pocket money, books, stationeries etc. Ukulhas community spends more than 1.5 million rufiyaa each year for the program. It’s a huge and a fantastic opportunity to join the ‘Ukulhas School’ to pursue A-Level studies in a gentle and a friendly environment.
Based on historical findings, there were no provisions of formal health services in Ukulhas before 1982. Before 1982 people in Ukulhas used to obtain health services from traditional medical practitioners. Traditional medical practitioners used to treat patients by using herbal medicine, which referred to as plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, flowers etc .
Formal health services were first established in Ukulhas at the island’s administrative office on 7 June 1982 by establishing an independent section with a local Family Health worker. The family Health worker was a person who only qualified for the provision of limited, basic health services, such as local consultations, counseling, distribution of birth control drugs, dressing a wound, distribution of other symptomatic medicines etc. It was Family Health worker’s duty to visit local residences in a periodic manner to monitor the health standards of Islanders and to maintain records which have to be sent to the Concern central government Authorities.
‘Body Work’ in Ukulhas is the first ever established body building and fitness training institution in North Ari Atoll. Sophisticated equipment available such as, bench press machine, chest fly machine, shoulder press machine, let pull down machine, biceps curl machine, leg extension machine etc. The gym is organized and run by the oldest Association in the island known as Glorious Sports Club (GSC).
This magnificent park, Kudakudhinge Ufa stands proudly as a testament to the community’s commitment to the well-being of the children. Children enjoy playgrounds and entertaining feature such as plastic toys, outdoor fitness equipment, leisure chairs, bungee trampoline and other suitable equipment. The park is designed for all ages of children, with adult supervision.
The entire park is surrounded by security fencing with gates at main entry. Part of the playing area is a grassy lawn area with benches and shaded structures. Benches are placed as outdoor seating which have been provided by the landscape and slip resistant paving goes along with the theme of the design which starts from the entry.
In front the main entrance, a beautiful fish pond is seen with various pond fishes such as cat fish, Algae eater, Fathead minnow, Gold Fish, Koi carp, Sturgeon etc. Precisely this park should be an example of why ‘Ukulhas’ is such a great place to work and live.