GIS - 07 December, 2017: Government envisions to set up a geotechnical unit within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport in the coming years. To this end, proper training and support will be provided to potential engineers to specialise in the field of landslide management.
This announcement was made by the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, yesterday during the opening ceremony of a workshop on Landslide Management at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Balaclava. The event aimed at enhancing and reinforcing local institutional competencies in the field of landslide management. Sensitisation materials and a manual to be distributed across institutions and regions prone to landslides were launched on that occasion.
Minister Bodha highlighted the importance of effective monitoring and management of landslide for disaster prone areas such as La Butte and Chitrakoot. Mauritius has a complex geological terrain which requires specialised tests for appropriate mitigation measures and, consequently, there is a growing need for geotechnical engineers to monitor projects involving land use, he said.
Moreover, Mr Bodha commended the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expert team for their valuable support and expert consultancy for the Landslide Management Project undertaken since May 2012 to identify areas with high risks of landslide. The Minister reiterated Government’s commitment to ensure a higher level of preparedness for Mauritius to face landslide-related emergencies as well as other disasters. He also called for the need to elaborate a protocol for landslides so as to create more awareness on the seriousness of the issue.
The workshop, organised jointly by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, and JICA, brought together some 50 participants. Topics discussed comprised: general assessment of the Landslide Management Unit; proposed organisational structure of Geotechnical Engineering Office; role of land use planning in landslide management, relocation and land acquisition issue; emergency response and slope disasters.
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