26 March 2019

Mauritius: No Ongoing Water Crisis in the Area of Curepipe and Forest Side, Says Deputy Prime Minister

press release

There is no ongoing water crisis in the area of Curepipe and Forest Side. The Central Water Authority (CWA) has already embarked on the renewal of water supply network in the regions of Atlee, Bonnefin, Joachim, Commerson, La Croix and other areas served by a reservoir at La Brasserie so as to replace derelict pipes dating more than 100 years old.

This statement was made by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, this morning at the National Assembly, in reply to the Private Notice Question on the water situation in the region of Curepipe.

The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted that water to La Brasserie reservoir is pumped from La Marie Treatment Plant through two old steel pipes of diameter 450 mm each, adding that one of these pipes is in a derelict condition with heavy leakages. This has resulted in a significant deficiency in terms of volume of water pumped into La Brasserie reservoir and this has severely impacted on the water distribution in these areas, he said.

Replacement of steel pipes

In July 2018, Mr Collendavelloo recalled, that the CWA initiated procedures for the replacement of these steel pipes and that in January 2019, an open advertised bidding exercise was launched. This exercise, he indicated, was for the replacement of the two old pipes by a 600 mm diameter ductile iron pipe. The new pipeline, he said, will have a maximum carrying capacity of 30,000 m3 to cater for existing and future demands in the concerned regions. Bids were closed on 27 February 2019 and are now being evaluated at the Central Procurement Board. Works are expected to start by May 2019 for a duration of about 12 months, he added.

The Deputy Prime Minister stated that around December 2018, the situation was worsening and hours of supply were being gradually reduced which led to a significant increase in the number of complaints relating to the water supply in that area. As a result, it was decided during a meeting in February 2019 between representatives of the CWA and representatives of the inhabitants that a temporary pipe will be installed, pending the replacement of the old existing pipes, he pointed out.

As from 31 January 2019, valve operations were carried out and water was supplied to the regions of La Croix, Curepipe Town Centre, Commerson, Rochecouste, Celicout Antelme and Maurice Martin between 5.00 a.m. to 8.a.m while water was supplied to the remaining regions between 16.00 hours to 20.00 hours. Regular water distribution was ensured by means of water tankers.

Speaking about the works being currently carried out by the CWA, Mr Collendavelloo emphasised that a temporary pipeline of about 2.3 km of 250 mm has been laid from La Marie to La Brasserie with the objective of eliminating the water leakages and improving the supply to these regions. Furthermore, on 22 March 2019, the CWA proceeded with connection works at La Marie. During the works, the CWA had to switch off the pumps feeding the La Brasserie reservoir which resulted in an interruption of water supply as from Friday afternoon, he said.

In his statement, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that although works were completed and the pumps were re-started on 23 March, certain losses in the newly laid pipes were observed, which resulted in the switching off of pumps so as to allow the CWA to undertake repairs. As a result, 11 water tankers were deployed in the region. The works were completed in the evening of 24 March 2019.

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