Rs 240 Million to Redevelop 20 Beaches

10 years, 6 months ago - December 26, 2011
The State will have to spend big, some Rs 241.6 million in the coming years to repair the country's beaches that have been damaged by erosion

Twenty beaches are vulnerable, said an official close to that folder. Some, such as Pointe-aux-Sables, are completely damaged. The beach of Pointe-aux-Sables concerned officers of the Ministry of Environment as 30 meters from the beach disappeared completely. Work is underway at Pointe-aux-Sables to redo this part of the beach by filling the sea with large stones.

Beach erosion has increased

Work is underway to fill in Flic en Flac, Mon-Choisy and Grand Baie and will be done in other beaches next year, says it to the Department of the Environment. In the course of 2011, the government spent Rs 16.1 million including, Rs 12 million in Pointe-aux-Sables, Rs 2.3 million in Flic en Flac and Rs 1.8 million in Mon-Choisy. For next year, an amount of Rs 85.5 million is planned. To redo the beach of Cape Unfortunately, the state will have to pay Rs 3.5 million, Rs 12 million to Bain-Boeuf, Rs 10 million to powder-d'Or. The biggest project will be implemented in Baie-du-Cap at a cost of Rs 46.7 million. In 2013, a sum of Rs 70 million is planned. To rehabilitate the beach of Le Morne work will cost Rs 13.5 million, Rs 4.5 million for La Prairie, Rs 12 million for four-and Sr with respect to that of La Preneuse the amount has not yet decided. Another package of Rs 70 million is still scheduled for 2014. A Grand Sable, the work is estimated at Rs 4.5 million; Pointe-du-Diable, Rs 12 million, Bois-des-Amourettes Rs 20 million. For Great River Southeast amount has not been decided yet.

The problem of erosion has increased over the years due to the combined action of rare natural phenomena and human activities, including rapid development of the coast, the construction work on the beaches and sand mining for construction of the lagoon. The actions taken so far to fight against beach erosion include, among others, the work of filling, the installation of gabions, the installation of groynes, building walls lining, removal of casuarinas the dynamic part of the beaches, and the application of a policy of setbacks for the construction of concrete structures. Experience has shown that the installation of gabions on the beaches has not produced the desired results, it says in the Ministry. They were damaged in a relatively short time by the regular passage of bathers and wave motion. This method of protection is not suitable for public beaches due to the large number of people who go to sea every weekend.

The best known cases are those of Flic en Flac and Rivière-des-rollers. It should find more robust methods of protection such as rock revetments, as recommended in the report Bairds, or development of artificial reefs.

In addition, climate change and rising sea levels resulting from this phenomenon emphasize beach erosion, hence the need for urgent action. It goes without saying that the short-term measures taken so far to protect and rehabilitate the beaches are not a sustainable solution to fight effectively against the movement of waves and tsunamis.

According to the program of adaptation to climate change Department of Environment, it is important to find more effective ways such as the installation of breakwaters in the lagoon and restore the coral reef to mitigate the impact of waves on beaches. The construction of shelter blades in the lagoon will require prior in-depth studies and the establishment of a program of capacity building for staff of the Ministry of the Environment. The training should focus on assessment procedures and the design of conservation projects.

To have such skills, Mauritius will have to rely on help from countries with the necessary experience in this field.

Text by Le Matinal

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