Mauritius: In line with the Government’s vision to ensure an adequate and sustainable supply of water across the country, Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth inaugurated, yesterday afternoon, two new service reservoirs at Cluny and Riche-en-Eau, constructed to the tune of Rs 74 million.
The Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Georges Pierre Lesjongard; the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mahen Kumar Seeruttun; the Government Chief Whip, Naveena Ramyad; the General Manager of the Central Water Authority (CWA), R. Maunthrooa, as well as other eminent personalities were also present.
Addressing the inhabitants of the locality, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the two projects had been concretised to bring relief to the population, improve access to clean water and enhance citizens’ quality of life. The Government, he stated, is investing massively in major infrastructural projects geared to the long-term enhancement of the island’s climate resilience and water security.
He observed that countries worldwide face many difficult challenges in terms of floods and droughts due to climatic change. “The challenges are numerous, but we as the Government have to redouble our efforts in investing in infrastructure and increase the capacity of reservoirs to stock water”, he stated.
He remarked that there are presently four boreholes in the country providing around 25 000 cubic meters of water every day for some 32 villages such as Bambou Virieux and L’escalier. The construction of more boreholes needs to be pursued, and the capacity of storage for reservoirs needs to be reinforced, underlined the Prime Minister.
PM Jugnauth indicated that the capacity of Cluny and Riche-en-Eau reservoirs had been increased to 3000 cubic meters and 2000 cubic meters, respectively, to supply around 43,000 inhabitants of the region and surrounding villages. The CWA, he remarked, is in discussion with the Ciel Group for acquiring land of five arpents for installing equipment for underground water extraction and exploring new water sources.
Prime Minister Jugnauth lauded the skills and competence of the employees of the CWA in upgrading modern infrastructural water systems to improve the water distribution network across the country, including the renewal and replacement of pipes to reduce water loss. As of July 2023, he underpinned the CWA has already replaced 72.5 kilometres of water pipes. He added that it is also setting up mobile filter pressures in the region of Tyack, Ferney, Nouvelle France and Plaine Magnien.
He called for a stronger public and private partnership as well as the collaboration of civil society to be able to achieve the vision of accessing clean and safe water on a 24/7 basis.
For his part, Minister Lesjongard underlined a series of projects that have been completed adding that two new service reservoirs at Salazie and Eau Bouille will soon be inaugurated. He indicated that the Prime Minister chairs a High-Level Committee on Water to stock major projects to improve water supply and ease access to funds for better water infrastructure.
He further highlighted that the grant for water tanks and pumps has been increased from Rs 8 000 to Rs 1,50,000 so that more people benefit from the grant.
As for Minister Seeruttun, he lauded the efforts of the CWA for the construction of two new reservoirs with a reinforced capacity to serve the local inhabitants better. He spoke of the harms of climate change on water security and called upon the population to avoid wasting water as well as to use water cautiously. The government, he said, has put in place several schemes at the disposal of the population for water tanks and rain harvesting systems.
Maunthrooa, for his part, indicated substantial progress in the water sector regarding water connectivity with pipe replacement programmes and new water sources.
He mentioned that further development as regards water supply has been carried out in regions such as La Sourdine, L’escalier, and Bon Accueil and will pursue in other regions across the island.