An inception workshop for the development of a Land Drainage Master Plan (LDMP) aiming to serve as a basis to conceptualise strategies, to be implemented by all stakeholders to reduce anthropogenic effects on the vulnerability to heavy rain and flood incidences, opened, today, at the Maritime Resort, Balaclava in presence of the Minister of National Infrastructure and Community Development, Mr Mahendranuth Sharma Hurreeram, and other personalities.
The workshop is being organised by the Land Drainage Authority (LDA), in collaboration with Agence Française de Développement. SAFEGE/SUEZ Consulting together with Mega Design, Acterra and Scene Ries Consult Ltd have been appointed as consultants. The masterplan will include an inventory and mapping of all the existing natural and manmade drainage infrastructure, the definition of a reference hydrology at the scale of each sub-watershed, flood detailed mapping, proposal of national strategies to account for land drainage issues in territorial development, and the formulation of action plans to improve drainage infrastructures implementation in the short and middle term.
In his address, Minister Hurreeram said that there must be a clearly defined strategy with regard to the channeling of rain water in order to avoid any disaster in the country. Continuous follow-up of strategies is fundamental to ensure efficient work flow and progress, he underlined. He indicated that 22 sites have been identified as flood prone areas in Mauritius including three sites in Rodrigues and that drain works have already been initiated in Cottage, Fond du Sac and L'Amitie. The Minister expressed satisfaction as regards the drain works being carried out and stressed that Government has as priority the welfare and safety of citizens and will carry out drain works across the country namely at Piton, Terre Rouge, Nouvelle France, Plaine Magnien and Mare Tabac, amongst others.
Speaking on the LDA, Mr Hurreeram said that the masterplan is fundamental to maintain safety in the country as well as to come up with sustainable solutions to mitigate the risk of flooding in the future. He lauded the LDA for conducting the workshop on the formulation of the LDMP which according to him will enable stakeholders to take cognizance of the main deliverables of the LDMP; assess the different views of stakeholders for the formulation of the LDMP; and identify and include high risk flood prone areas in the LDMP.
Also present at the opening ceremony, the Director of the LDA, Mr Nuvin Khedah spoke of the major achievements of the LDA since its creation, namely the formulation of Drainage Impact Assessment Guideline to assist promoters as part of the EIA report, inventory and mapping of drains and flood prone areas, formulation of short-term priority measures that can be implemented for the priority areas, procurement of new Digital Elevation Model and aerial imagery to carry out inventory and mapping, amongst others. He added that the LDA will put in place other measures and continue to work for the safety and betterment of the citizens by increasing the country's resilience to floods.