Floods hit headlines in Mauritius dailies this week

Port Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - Torrential rains that pounded Mauritius daily for more than a week, causing floods in almost all parts of the island, made the headlines this week.

According to the daily L'Express, it was not a problem that originated from the bad weather since the beginning of the year.

"It is also the result of an infrastructural problem and wetlands not respected by urbanization. Like, for example, in Flic-en-Flac, where rainwater, collected by the drains, has nowhere to flow and stagnates, favouring the proliferation of mosquitoes and seaweeds,” the paper said.

It went on that the rains, hurricanes and thunderstorms have not been soft with the country. Lightning also hit in some areas, causing injuries and material damage.

L’express reported that the Fire Department made about 20 sorties on Thursday to evacuate students from two primary schools where they were stranded because of the downpours.

The same daily reported on Saturday that the weather does not portend to be clement for the days to come.

"The Met service forecasts storm and rain throughout the weekend. The reason? Clouds associated with a line of instability are approaching the island from the east. In addition, moisture promotes the formation of storm clouds, " L'express wrote.

The Met service forecast high water levels in some risky areas as well as reduced visibility during the showers and pockets of fog on the central plateau.

For its part, the daily Le Défi indicated that the rainfall recorded on the island in January 2018 was 792mm, while the average normal rainfall since 1981 to 2010 was 268 mm.

In an issue devoted to the environment and climate change, the same daily talked to experts and consultants in the field.

"The country is committed to meeting the criteria and achieving well-developed goals. Are we respecting them? Seeing how the recent rains have put the country on its knees, it would seem no," it said.

According to consultant Yousouf Jauhangeer, Mauritians discard every garbage into drainage systems and the rivers are misused as open bins.

"We even throw in fridges and mattresses; there is no policy on garbage collection other than depending on households by local authorities," he said.

In his view, it would take a jolt for Mauritians to assume their environmental responsibilities. He argued that one of the big problems of the country remains the lack of planning.

In the same issue, Le Défi  reported that environmentalist Vassen Kauppaymuthoo believes that this situation confirms the fact that Mauritius is not ready to cope with torrential rains "when we look at the number of families in distress and chaos."

"Fortunately, we did not have to deplore the loss of human life. This situation points the finger at the failings of the system and the planning of the territory, with obsolete infrastructure, cities without drains,  and archaic management of waste ," the expert observed.
-0- PANA NA/AR 24Feb2018

24 février 2018 15:49:55

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