GIS – 18 June 2015: The composting, rainwater harvesting and solar water heater schemes 2015-2016 will soon be launched, announced the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, Disaster and Beach Management, Mr Jayeshwur Raj Dayal, yesterday at a press conference in Port Louis.
The composting scheme is a project developed to encourage the population to use composters as well as persuade residents to undertake their share of responsibility in favour of the preservation of the environment.
This year, 7 000 compost bins will be distributed to households and 3 000 to small planters, said the Minister. He recalled that over the past two years, some 24 000 compost bins have been distributed within the Republic of Mauritius.
Several conditions are attached to the scheme. For instance, an applicant should have a garden and should pay Rs 350 to cover expenses for training. In addition to attending a training session on composting, the applicant should sign an agreement with the Ministry for post project monitoring. As regards small planters, only those registered to the Small Planters Welfare Fund can apply for larger compost bins.
Mauritius, annually, produces more than 400 000 tonnes of household waste out of which some 60% is organic. The main objective of the composting scheme is to mobilise and encourage households to actively participate in environmental conservation and management so as to mitigate the serious deterioration of environmental resources in the country.
According to Minister Dayal, the budget for rainwater harvesting scheme is Rs 15 million, including Rs 3 million for Rodrigues. The objective of the scheme is to encourage local authorities, schools and other Government agencies to use rainwater for non-potable needs.
Concerning the grant criteria, Local Authorities and Government agencies will get up to Rs 500 000 per project; schools, both public and private, will obtain a maximum of Rs 100 000; and NGOs will receive up to Rs 50 000.
Last year, the Ministry financed the Municipality of Vacoas/Phoenix for a rainwater harvesting system for its market and this system has resulted in the saving of 21 000 litres of water per week, he declared. We are thinking to apply the same concept in our coming smart cities, Mr Dayal added.
The solar water heater scheme aims to encourage Mauritians to opt for renewable energy sources and reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuels for the production of electricity. With the new scheme for 2015-2016, vulnerable families will also be able to benefit as at least 1 400 new National Housing Development Company and National Empowerment Foundation houses will be connected with solar water heaters.
Under this scheme, a grant of Rs 10 000 will be provided for new householders whose salary do not exceed Rs 25 000 and new householders whose salary is above Rs 25 000 will get a grant of Rs 5 000.
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