GIS - 06 September, 2019: A Tripartite Partnership Agreement as part of the project "Fund for Technical Expertise and Experience Transfers (FEXTE)" was signed, yesterday, at Ebène House, between the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities (MEPU), the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (ARR), the Office of Water (OLE) of Reunion Island, and the Agence Française de Développpement (AFD). The agreement is valid for a period of three years.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, the Deputy Chief Commissioner, Mr Nicolson Lisette, the Director General of the OLE, and the Director of AFD, Mr André Pouillès-Duplaix, were present during the signing ceremony.
In his address, Mr Collendavelloo, stated that this second FEXTE Convention will support the water sector, a vital sector for public health, quality of life, agriculture and the economy of the country. The Convention comprises a grant of € 250,000 and a contribution of € 50,000 from the OLE which will be used to set up a Water Observatory in Mauritius and Rodrigues, he added.
Acknowledging that the water sector is one of Government's top priorities, the Deputy Prime Minister recalled that since 2015, more than Rs 4.5 billion have been invested for the renewal of water supply pipes. An additional amount of Rs 1.5 billion has also been allocated in Budget 2019-2020. Furthermore, 460 kilometers of pipes have been replaced, three service tanks have been built while two more will be completed soon, five new groundwater sources have been commissioned and three more are being drilled, he added.
Other projects include: construction of a new pumping station at Plaine Lauzun which ensures a higher pressure water supply to consumers in Port Louis; completion of two pipe replacement projects in Rose Hill and Beau Bassin in October; and pipe replacement works undertaken across the country.
Mr Collendavelloo further highlighted that the water sector demands our full attention in this period of climate change. Water resources, he stated, are under significant pressure including pollution, the use of chemicals, high human density, overexploitation of aquifers and the availability of water resources is becoming less and less predictable. Speaking about Rodrigues, he recalled that it faces enormous challenges and hence the need to find innovative solutions as well as thoughtful management and a long-term strategy.
Referring to the FEXTE Convention, he rejoiced that it paves the way towards an overall and coherent vision. The Observatory that will be set up, he said, will help in the collection of data from all sectors, sharing of information, identifying priorities and facilitating decision-making and better resource management.
The FEXTE is a financing tool for technical cooperation in middle-income countries, designed to promote sustainable development by transferring French know-how and expertise. Negotiations with AFD began in September 2018 to obtain a grant of 250,000 euros to set up a Water Observatory in Mauritius and Rodrigues. The Observatory in Mauritius will be managed by the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities and that of Rodrigues by the ARR. Each Observatory will have its own database and analysis tool.
The first FEXTE Convention, signed in 2017, has successfully established a tripartite partnership between the AFD, the Agence française de l'Environnement et de la maîtrise de l'Energie and the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities on the development of renewable energies.
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