A three-day exhibition organised in the context of the World Water Day opened yesterday at the Central Water Authority (CWA) La Marie water Treatment Plant in the presence of the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Mr Eddy Boissézon.
In his address on the occasion, the General Manager of the CWA, Dr Yousouf Ismaël, highlighted that as the world is facing the consequences of climatic changes and is getting drier, it is urgent that people realise the value of water. Access to sufficient safe water is a fundamental requirement for the survival of humanity and for the socio- economic well-being and livelihood of each and every one, he added.
Dr Ismaël deplored the irresponsible use of water that usually consists of wastage, misuse and pollution. Pollution, he pointed out, is an alarming issue in Mauritius, wherein people throw garbage and objects in rivers, leading to contaminated water and accumulation of water during heavy downpours.
He also underpinned the objective of the CWA , which is to provide quality and safe water at an affordable price to the whole population. On that score, he highlighted Government's unflinching support to achieve this aim and pointed out that a sum of Rs 8.7 billion have been earmarked over the last three years, to support the multiple initiatives of CWA. On that note, he enumerated on the progress achieved, namely increased water supply in various regions of the island; replacement of 125 km of pipes; ongoing construction of the Bagatelle Treatment Plant; and digging works at Rose-Hill for a better water connection.
As for the Chairperson of the CWA Board, Mr. Gaston François Desmarais, he underlined that the global water crisis demands an efficient use and better management of water. Hence, he emphasised, the CWA has sought to reinvent itself to better respond to the needs and aspirations of customers. Over the last three years, it has been reviewing its working methods and improving distribution networks in order to enhance the hours of supply of water and provide water in areas which are under stress.
According to the Chairperson, safe water is important for public health and an improved water supply and sanitation and better management of water resources can boost the economic growth of the country and contribute to poverty reduction. Water has the potential to contribute to a greener economy and to sustainable development, he said.
He observed that the sustainable development goal (SDG) 6, which is about ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and SDG 8 on promoting a sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, are closely interconnected.
This year's theme, 'Nature for Water', he underlined, explores nature-based solutions to water challenges the world is currently facing. The central message of this campaign, he pointed out, is to shed light on these solutions that consists of planting trees and replenishing forests, reconnecting rivers and restoring wetlands as sustainable and cost-effective ways to help re-balance the water cycle, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve human health and livelihood.
World Water Day
World Water Day, celebrated annually on the 22 of March, helps to shed light on a range of global water issues while also raising awareness about the importance, need and conservation of water in various fields of life, including the environment, health, agriculture and trade.
During the exhibition and open days, leaflets, brochure and other accessories will be distributed to visitors. Guided visits and explanations on the water treatment process and the jobs/activities related to each process will be provided.