In view of a series of extreme weather conditions, in particular flash rains and flooding that have caused miseries to thousands of families, Government is mobilising additional resources to address these environmental issues. To that end, an amount of Rs 2 billion will be transferred to the National Environment Fund, created under an Act of Parliament in 2002.
National Environment Fund
The Fund will be revamped to further mobilise funding from international sources, such as the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility. Some Rs 450 million have also been mobilised from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre and the Adaptation Fund Board of the United Nations.
The National Environment Fund will be used to:
· Construct drain infrastructure in more than 25 flood prone regions across the country
· Equip the 12 Local Authorities to undertake continuous maintenance and cleaning of drains, rivers and canals;
· Acquire a high resolution and aerial 3D imagery Digital Elevation Model to update our flood map and prepare a full-fledged Land Drainage Master Plan
· Rehabilitate, protect and manage beaches, lagoons and coral reefs
· Carry out the Clean Up Mauritius and Embellishment Campaign - "Moris Nou Zoli Pei"
· Expand Solid Waste Management facilities and develop a comprehensive Waste Recycling Framework
· Undertake Landslide Management initiatives
· Conduct of Disaster Risk Reduction Operations
Furthermore, to better protect lives and properties and support the victims of floods and other calamities, Budget 2018-2019 is making provision for the acquisition of three additional automatic rainfall monitoring stations over the next three years to get real time data on flash floods in vulnerable regions.
Other measures include: the recruitment of 114 additional firefighters who will be trained in the Swift Water and Rope Rescue Programme; the recruitment of another 100 firefighters and 30 Fire Station Officers to increase inspection and enforcement in buildings; the recruitment of 100 Officers in the inspectorate cadre of the Local Authorities for stricter control of planning conditions; and the operation of the Doppler Weather Radar by October this year.
As regards the granting of Morcellement Permit, it will be reviewed with a provision for a Drain Impact Assessment to be undertaken as part of the EIA report. The legal framework will be amended to allow for pulling down of illegal constructions, especially those affecting the drainage system. An audit of rivers and water courses will also be carried out to assess their carrying capacity with a view to taking remedial action. Climate resiliency will be integrated in all infrastructure projects of the public sector including new Social Housing projects.
In a bid to tackle the issue of proliferation of stray dogs that has an impact on our living environment, Government is earmarking two plots of land to be provided to NGOs to develop shelters for the stray animals.
Elimination of waste through recycling
The protection of the environment and recycling activities will be encouraged to reduce waste. Hence with a view to promoting local recycling of used PET bottles, the financial incentive given to local manufacturers will be increased from Rs 5 to Rs 15 per kilo of used PET bottles.
Controlling pollution on our roads
Budget 2018-2019 highlights that to better control pollution caused by vehicles, the importation of new auto cycles and motor cycles will be restricted to those complying with Euro standards. Those fitted with 2-stroke engines and which emit high level of pollutants will be banned.
Furthermore, appropriate legislative framework will be established to regulate the disposal of vehicles in specialised Scrap Yard at the end of their economic life. The vehicles declared total loss will not be allowed to be used again on the roads and scrapping of these vehicles will be made mandatory.