GIS - 22 March, 2016:
A three-day exhibition on the theme “Water and Jobs” opened this morning at La Marie Water treatment plant to mark World Water Day 2016. The exhibition, open to students and the public in general, is being organised at the initiative of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities in collaboration with several ministries and departments.
Present at the opening, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, recalled that billions of rupees are being injected to enhance the infrastructural network of the Central Water Authority (CWA).
Speaking about accessibility of water, he said that although 99% of the population have access to water, some 20% do not receive adequate water because of the aging water network. Hence the need for good management and a review of organisational aspects of the CWA, he added.
Mr Collendavelloo pointed out that he has also sought the assistance of the World Bank in view of the water distribution reform, while adding that the privatisation of the water system is essential so as to give consumers the service that they are expecting from the CWA.
For his part, the General Manager of the CWA, Dr Yousouf Ismaël, stressed on the need to save water and to use it judiciously since it is a very scarce resource. According to him, it is essential to reduce water wastage since around 180 litres of water are used per person per day in Mauritius as compared to 90 litres per day in advanced countries.
Dr Ismaël highlighted that the CWA is working towards modernising and developing the water sector with the objective of providing the population with a 24/7 access to potable water. Several projects, he said, will soon be operational namely the Pailles Treatment Plant, Bagatelle Dam, and Rivière des Anguilles Dam.
Several activities are being organised by the Ministry and the CWA to mark the World Water Day 2016. Open days are being held at La Marie and Pailles water treatment plants, Midlands dam and Midlands hydro power plant from 22 to 24 March 2016.
A rally and a tree planting exercise will be held on the banks of Rivière Rempart at Palma/Beau Songes on 24 March 2016, with the participation of students from SSS Palma, SSS Bambous, SSS Sivananda and other stakeholders.
A mural fresco competition was also organised on the boundary wall of the Cascavelle reservoir open to upper secondary school students. Six teams have participated in the competition and the frescos have been assessed by a panel of Jury composed of representatives of the Mauritius Institute of Education, the Mahatma Gandhi Institute and the Fashion and Design Institute.
The first prize was awarded to Swami Sivananda SSS and the team received Rs 20,000, shields and certificates. The second prize went to Collège du St Esprit which received a cash prize of Rs 15,000, shields and certificates. Quatre Bornes SSS bagged the third prize and was awarded a cash prize of Rs 10,000, shields and certificates. The remaining non-winning teams received Rs 5,000 and certificates.
World Water Day
This year, the World Water Day focuses on "Water and Jobs" as almost half of the world's workers, about 1.5 billion people, work in water related sectors. The theme highlights on how sustainable supply of safe water can change workers' lives and livelihoods and even transform societies and economies.
World Water Day dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day and ever since the event has been commemorated on a yearly basis.
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