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Bobby Hurreeram: Mauritius Has 306 Flood-Prone Areas, 62 Of Which Are High Risk

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Press conference by Attorney-General and Minister of Agro-Industry, Maneesh Gobin, Minister of Public Infrastructure and Community Development, Bobby Hurreeram, and PPS for Constituency No. 1 and 2, Dorine Chuckowry last Thursday at the Sun Trust Building in Port Louis.

The recent floods were widely commented on by the speakers. Bobby Hurreeram also claimed that Mauritius has 306 flood-prone areas, 62 of which are at high risk. This is according to a study done by the Land Drainage Authority (LDA). He also announced that the National Flood Management Programme is already constructing 1,700 drainage projects. A budget of Rs 11.7 billion has been allocated for these projects over a three-year period.

Bobby Hurreeram dwelt on the alarming situation with regard to the effects of climate change. He said the strategy of the government and his ministry is to mitigate the damage. “We are doing everything possible to save people’s lives and property. There is no such thing as zero risk,” the minister said, pointing out that many countries in the world are also affected by the phenomenon of flooding.

Dangerous areas

The speaker also suggested that the situation had been anticipated by the authorities concerned since the previous mandate. He added: “That is why in 2018, the Prime Minister set up the Land Drainage Authority (LDA) which has since done a lot of work, not only to identify the areas at risk but also to draw up a comprehensive plan so that we are in a position to better manage the situation related to climate change.

He said that the work done in recent years has allowed many Mauritians to feel safe.  As examples, he cited Plaine Magnien, Cottaged, Sainte Croix, Mare-Tabac and Pamplemousses.

“In total, 420 kilometres of drains have been cleaned under the supervision of LDA, not to mention seven warnings issued against authorities for cleaning drains.  We have cleaned 33 rivers, including the Latanier River, and the Canal Dayot River to avoid overflow,” he added.

The Minister of Public Infrastructures also stated that some owners refuse to hand over their land to the state after being influenced by politicians whom he describes as unpatriotic.

For her part, Dorine Chuckowry, PPS of constituency No. 1 and 2 deplored the low politics of the opposition, which she said refuses to acknowledge that the risk mitigation projects have been carried out. She referred to the project, which came to fruition at the Lotus Residence last year.  Dorine Chukowry also pointed out that the MMM was in opposition for 45 years and only governed the country for nine. “So they have become champions of criticising all governments. So I appeal to the opposition not to engage in cheapskate politics. We all must put our hands together to find solutions,” she said.

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