Current environmental hazards caused by the lack of proper sanitation facilities on La Digue - Seychelles' third-most populated island - will be targeted once the construction of a wastewater treatment plant and sewer network is completed in July.
The plant, to cover 95 percent of domestic wastewater generation on La Digue, is financed by the European Investment Bank, Agence Française de Développement and the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) of Seychelles at a cost $16 million.
Initiated in February last year, the plant is located at L'Union Estate - near a farming area in the south of the island. For the past year, PUC has been undertaking a survey of all houses on the island.
"The exercise covering the entire island was completed last week. We had to visit each house to conduct the survey, see the location of the sewer connections as well as establishing how each house will be connected to the network," said the engineer of the project, Livio D'Offay.
D'Offay explained that the system including service connections for domestic and non-domestic users will see the installation of sewer network pipes as well as the construction of the main pumping station and lifting stations.
"The project also includes a new wastewater treatment plant with an average flow of 1,000 cubic metres per day. The treated wastewater will be either recycled for irrigation purposes such as for agriculture or landscaping purposes. The excess will be infiltrated into the ground," said the engineer.
D'Offay said the engineer's office is now being constructed. The fencing for the wastewater treatment plant is about to commence. The main pipe laying works will commence in 2 months' time, upon arrival of containers with materials for the project.
Technofab Engineering Limited will be undertaking the construction of the treatment plant. Technofab is an Indian engineering and construction company with over 45 years of experience with projects in India and in several African countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, and Liberia.
The chief executive of PUC, Philippe Morin said that all care will be taken during construction to minimise negative impacts on the island's ecosystem and the Islanders' way of life.
"Once completed, the residents will not pay for connection to the sewage system but they will get charged on a monthly basis with the amount depending on the volume of water consumed," explained Morin.
Morin is urging the inhabitants for their understanding and cooperation as there will be some disruptions where and when the sewer lines, pumping and lifting stations, manholes and other infrastructures are being constructed.