SCR 5.3 million for the first phase of the master plan of La Digue. These are the costs of the first phase of construction for drainage systems to remove water from the residential areas on La Digue, which will start early next year. The project is financed by the Global Climate Change Alliance and the European Union initiative.
According to Environment Minister Didier Dogley, this master plan project will help with flooding and sewage problems on La Digue; however, due to budget constraints, his ministry is dependent on foreign aid to finance the entire project.
Part of the drainage plan includes work near the Seychelles Trading Company site, La Digue Island Lodge, the heliport, the pension fund, the gas station and near the schools.
Minister Dogley points out that the main challenges include construction costs at La Digue, as all materials must be transported there, delays in some construction work crossing residential areas, and traffic disruption.
The cooperation with the Ministry of Life should facilitate the project, although these ministries have expressed security concerns, as some of the already excavated drains are still uncovered. Minister Dogley assures that they are discussing solutions to cover the drains.
Research for the La Digue coastal zone is included in the drainage project, which, according to Minister Dogley, needs an additional SCR 5 million to finance, possibly via the EU.
Jean-François Ferrari notes that last year, just before the election "... I saw areas being dug up, but this year I see that these holes have been blocked again - was this just a political gimmick to prove that drainage work was taking place on La Digue? If so, what did it cost us?' he asks.
Minister Dogley had to clarify during yesterday's National Assembly session that "quick fix" work by opening drains in the ground is sometimes done when there is an imminent danger of flooding during the rainy season. He confirmed that this was by no means associated with a large budget.
He also explains that there is a Drainage Task Force with various staff from different ministries to identify priority areas for drainage systems; for budgetary reasons, not all districts can be worked on at the same time.
Water shortage and rainwater collection
From 14 November 2017 will begin work on the sewers in various districts to prepare for the heavy rainfall expected at the end of this year and the beginning of next year.
We have done research on La Digue, which shows that the missing structures on the houses cannot protect them from rain and flooding - there is a need for tanks to collect rainwater," explains Minister Dogley. "The benefits are showers and sanitation, which means less water shortage and less flooding."
While Minister Dogley acknowledges that the PUC is in the news almost every week, "...they are doing everything they can to find solutions."
Other waste concerns have also been raised, notably in relation to the La Gogue dam. It was outlined that despite the dam, the water still runs into the sea.
Minister Dogley confirms that there are plans for a new dam for Grand Anse Mahé, which according to PUC estimates would cost 1 billion SCR.
It was suggested that the Ministry of the Environment should secure the space required for this dam so that after completion of the project there would be no intervention in other ministries and the cost of moving families from their homes would be higher if a residential area was identified and no cleared land was found.
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