GIS - 14 June, 2019: Environmental resilience along with the sustainability of our country’s development in the wake of challenges poised by climate change effects on Small Island Developing States remain major concerns for the Government and the population at large. To mitigate the impact of and adapting to climate change, Budget 2019-2020 spells out a series of measures geared towards protecting and enhancing the environment for the well-being of one and all.
The measures are: 40 high risk flood prone sites have been identified across the island and Rs 650 million earmarked for carrying out drainage works in several areas across the island including Rodrigues; and the Land Drainage Authority is being reinforced.
With regards to fostering production and use of local renewable sources of energy, another crucial leg of our sustainability strategy is the shifting to clean and renewable sources of energy away from fossil fuel. In this connection, the Budget made mention of: a Renewable Energy Roadmap to be developed to optimise the use of the various renewable sources of energy to produce electricity; removal of the monthly fee for supplying solar electricity from solar energy sources to the national grid; implementation of a waste to energy project to generate some 20 MW of electricity; new scheme for the installation of Solar PV systems for religious bodies by the CEB; provision of CEB connection free of charge to domestic customers and Social, Religious and Charitable organisations located up to 5 poles away from the grid; and installation of 75,000 smart meters over the next 3 years.
Pursuing the Moris Nou Zoli Pei Campaign
To address the issues of lack of cleanliness across the country, and maintain the attractiveness of Mauritius as a tourist destination and also as a sustainable and environmentally friendly model, a series of measures have been enumerated in line with the Moris Nou Zoli Pei Campaign.
In this connection, a Centralised Cleaning Coordination (3C) Committee will be set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands to engage in the cleaning of Mauritius. The Committee will have as responsibilities: to organise a ‘Mega National Cleaning and Embellishment Campaign’; cleaning up actions in seven priority areas including beaches and lagoons; amendments will also be made to the Beach Authority Act to empower Beach Enforcement Officers to serve notice to littering offenders on public beaches; and cleaning of tourist sites, including our different islets, National Parks and Conservation Service, city centres, and motorways.
Besides, the Road Development Authority will also have the responsibility for seeking private sector sponsorship of individual roundabouts along motorways for their embellishment and regular maintenance. Government will also provide local authorities with modern equipment such as road sweeper trucks. Rivers, canals, watercourses and drains will also be cleaned and embellished by local authorities with the support of the private sector.
The 3C Committee and the National Environment Fund will also implement a comprehensive action plan for the embellishment of the country and come up with a comprehensive Waste Recycling Programme. Moreover, the financial incentive for export of used PET bottles has been increased from Rs 5 to Rs 15 per kilogram and a national campaign will be carried out by the 3C committee to sensitise the population on the importance of waste segregation and management for the country while at later stage, free bags will be provided to households to facilitate collection of PET bottles.
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