Project underway to curb risk of flooding at Au Cap


A cofferdam (enclosure) has been built to allow work on the stormwater channel to be done

Speaking to the media on Saturday, director general for coastal adaptation and management section in the environment department, Nimhan Senaratne, said the project is being done by phase and is costing R1.2 million.

The construction of the stormwater channel started six weeks ago and is due to be completed by the end of March this year.

The project is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and its first two phases have already been completed.

A counter-measure has been adopted for river mouth clogging at the Au Cap river but the capacity of the pipes are not big enough for discharging rainwater during the rainy season, thus the need for a proper channel.

Mr Senaratne said the project was initiated through a memorandum of understanding between Japan and Seychelles and it was agreed that Japanese experts will help the country with environment issues related to coastal erosion and flood risk vulnerability.

He said the Japanese experts and the local team had worked on calculations to know the exact volume of water that is supposed to be removed to ensure that inundation is reduced.

The stormwater channel has been designed to be 25m in length and 4m wide so as to allow the rainwater to evacuate into the sea in a more effective way.

Mr Senaratne said the project has had some delays due to high tide and heavy rain recently but added that it will be handed over on time.

“It is important to note that this is a pilot project. We will keep assessing, observing its effectiveness and we will make adjustments were needed,” he said.

The project is one that will be able to give the results predicted, he added.

Mr Senaratne said a deck or walkway will be build on top of the channel where residents and the public in general will also be able to use for strolling or admiring the sunrise.

The channel is divided into three sections and is being constructed from land to the sea and a temporary enclosure or cofferdam has been built to allow work to be done.

The cofferdam is made from sand and filter cloth has been laid on it to prevent sand from coming out. Rocks have also been placed on the cloth to prevent it from loosening and to break waves.

Apart from the stormwater channel, three other projects will be funded by Jica. These are the North East Point beach nourishment, drainage at Pointe Larue and groyne and sand recharge on La Digue.

The beach nourishment project at North East Point is set to start in one week’s time.

Giving details of the sum budgeted for different projects this year, the director general for climate affairs, adaptation and information division Alain De Comarmond said out of the total of R6,132,000 allocated, R1,882,000 will go towards marsh cleaning, R1,450,000 for priority drainage, R1,500,000 for desilting work and R1,300,000 for coastal protection project.

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