A two-day national workshop on 'Implementing resilience against flooding by coordinating drainage management at watershed level and designing adaptation measures in the context of climate change' was launched, yesterday, at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel in Balaclava. The workshop is an initiative of the Land Drainage Authority (LDA), under the aegis of the Prime Minister's Office, in collaboration with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
The Director of the LDA, Mr Mahen Nuvin Khedah, the Director of the AFD, Mr André Pouillès-Duplaix, and other personalities were present at the opening ceremony.
This national workshop, with some 50 participants, is a multi-stakeholder one and has been organised to sensitise the authorities on the role of the LDA and share methods as well as techniques recommended by the LDA for an integrated drainage management with a view to increasing resilience to flooding. The workshop also aims at highlighting the interdependence between environment, integrated land drainage management and land planning in order to avoid increasing vulnerability of people and assets to flood risk, while at the same time presenting recommendations so as to adopt a proactive, collaborative and responsible approach in risk preparedness.
During the workshop, all aspects for an integrated drainage management will be presented for the views and comments of the stakeholders. An outline of the Drainage Design Guideline, which is being developed by the consultants appointed by the AFD in collaboration with the LDA will also be presented for discussion.
In his address, Mr Khedah pointed out that one of the major roles of the LDA, which has been set up following the enactment of the LDA Act in June 2018, is to coordinate the construction of drainage infrastructure undertaken by local authorities, the National Development Unit, the Road Development Authority and any other relevant stakeholder. The LDA, he added, is also responsible for the development and implementation of a land drainage master plan, as well as for ensuring that there is a routine and periodic upgrading and maintenance of drainage infrastructure.
Furthermore, Mr Khedah requested the full collaboration of all stakeholders, including implementing bodies, the private sector and consultants in the LDA's quest for an efficient integrated land drainage system. He also commended the AFD for its continued support in this sector.
For his part, the Director of AFD highlighted that Mauritius is a privileged partner of France while reaffirming his commitment to provide both financial and technical support for the development and promotion of green infrastructure projects in Mauritius. He also recalled that the French Government, through the AFD, has set up the Adapt'Action Programme to help vulnerable developing countries from Africa and Small Island Developing States like Mauritius which are among the most vulnerable countries to climate change.