Water – and the sustainable management of water resources – is one of the most pressing issues of climate change.
Through the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF), a £30 million programme funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, we are transforming the way water infrastructure is used to build climate resilience for the poor across 12 countries in Southern Africa.
On today’s World Water Day 2023, we recognise the importance of water and highlight how we are supporting water sector reform in Mauritius.
Small islands such as Mauritius face immense and unique challenges when it comes to water, the environment and climate change. Water is not only the most limiting factor in small island states’ development – their reliance on surface water also poses threats in times of drought. This is worsened by climate change, sea-level rise, loss of biodiversity, and ecosystem goods and services.
Aware of these risks, the Government of Mauritius sought assistance from the British High Commission (BHC) to develop a preliminary work plan that addresses the challenges of intermittent water supplies. Our CRIDF team completed this work in early 2022, and we are currently developing a number of assessments on water resources, supply, infrastructure and distribution.
This will support the initial technical work necessary to create a sound foundation from which the Government of Mauritius can build a comprehensive water infrastructure renewal and rehabilitation programme.
As part of this, our team of experts delivered a water resources assessment report and a high-level master plan, which will be workshopped with the Government of Mauritius and include guidelines for the next steps.
We were delighted to present the findings from this important work in Mauritius yesterday. CRIDF’s Chief Engineer, Leonard Maraga, gave the keynote address at the Mauritius National Seminar to celebrate World Water Day 2023, while the seminar was opened by the Honourable Georges Pierre Lesjongard, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Government of Mauritius.
And as for our team? World Water Day is more than a day in our calendars – it is a mission to provide long-term solutions to water issues that affect and threaten the wellbeing over 200 million people. With CRIDF now in its final year, we are looking back at a great number of milestones, achievements and lessons learned, and look forward to be sharing our insights with stakeholders, partners as well as the wider sector.