Over R5m spent on efforts to address coastal erosion


16-November-2012

The Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet, gave these information in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

He was answering a question by elected member for Anse Aux Pins Meggy Marie who had asked him to give details of immediate measures being undertaken to address coastal erosion in the Anse Aux Pins area.

It is to be noted that the Anse Aux Pins area is being affected from Anse Faure all the way down to Au Cap.

 A breakwater was built in 2003 as the first effort by the government to protect the coast in that area and this was followed by work to protect the coast around the Anse Aux Pins market area.

Based on information gathered so far the ministry is proposing that an integrated plan where private property owners and government will work together to address coastal erosion problem in the Anse Aux region.

This, the minister explained, is because government policy stipulates that if a private property is being affected by coastal erosion, it is the responsibility of the owner to carry out any rehabilitation work as  necessary.

The minister explained that this is because considering the number of public and private properties situated on the coast on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, it is impossible for government to fund all the rehabilitation works.

Minister Payet pointed out that a government-private sector approach is already in place at Anse Kerlan Praslin where the government is closely working with the private property owners to address coastal erosion there.

Minister Payet added that such projects can also be funded through international environmental  funds which help communities.

But the minister stressed that to be able to access these international funds, communities have to come together in an association and through their district administration they can submit their requests.

Such an example is the Recomap project funded by the European Union under which the coasts at Anse Royale and Anse Boileau were rehabilitated.

Minister Payet said officials from the Ministry of Environment will soon meet with the Anse Aux Pins district authorities to discuss government help to set up the partnership.
  
Dr Payet further explained that coastal erosion is getting more and more serious and some of the areas being most affected are Au Cap, North East Point, Anse Gaulette, Anse Kerlan, Grand Anse on Praslin and La Passe on La Digue.

“This year the government has spent R1.2 million on the Anse Marie-Louise project, R2.4 million on the Anse à la Mouche project and R1.5 million on the one at Mare Anglaise.

Under the JICA project funded  by the Japanese government, the country  is expected to spend another R1 million on the North East Point project and R1 million on the La Passe project very soon,” added Prof. Payet.

He noted that for the past two years the country has invested more than R5 million in coastal rehabilitation projects on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

“It is worth pointing out that all these cases were very serious and if the government had not acted then, many infrastructures and properties situated on the coasts would have been lost,” added the minister.

Minister Payet noted that it has not been easy to address all these problems in a short period of time and with the budget allocated by government.

He said that during the past two years Japanese experts have conducted detailed studies of coastal areas being affected and these included the Anse Aux Pins area.

To conduct the study they have used old maps which shows the coast in 1960, aerial images taken in 1984, GIS plan of 1998 and also recent images taken two years ago.

“These images clearly highlight the changes in coastal alignment during these periods of time and the experts have been able to establish the impact of erosion in these areas,” said the minister.

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