Heavy rains and flash floods have become a new reality in Mauritius. And the authorities must take palliative measures. Update with Farook Mowlabaccus, hydrologist, and Sunil Dowarkasing, environmentalist.

Farook Mowlabaccus: “LDA officials must go into the field”

Farook Mowlabaccus, a hydrologist, explains that heavy rains are a sign of climate change. What does not justify inaction. He is of the opinion that officials of the Land Drainage Authority (LDA) must go to the field to visually observe when it rains and come with palliative measures.

“It is imperative that the government takes precautions and undertakes work to drain water during periods of heavy rain. If we have 175 mm in less than five hours, the earth will not be able to absorb all this water. This file is not a question of choice, it is an absolute priority. We must not say that there is no money, because it is urgent,” says the hydrologist.

For Farook Mowlabaccus, it is important to put in place efficient systems to quickly drain rainwater, especially in areas likely to be flooded. “We must also consider the construction of drainage systems suitable for the region concerned. Because the absorption capacity of the earth varies from place to place.

The LDA must go into the field to see what is causing problems. Subsequently, it must establish a priority list for the work,” he suggests. The situation we are experiencing will become more and more frequent with climate change, and we cannot ignore it.

Sunil Dowarkasing: “this scenario will become more and more common”

Sunil Dowarkasing, environmentalist, pleads for taking the bull by the horns. He argues that heavy rains and flash floods have become commonplace in our region. And Mauritius will continue to face this growing challenge.

“The climate crisis and global warming are a reality that changes everything. The ocean plays a crucial role in climate regulation. And the Indian Ocean region, where we are, is one of the most affected by warming. When the surface of the Indian Ocean exceeds 30°C to 35°C, as is the case more and more often, this creates conditions conducive to intense precipitation and flash flood phenomena,” he explains. -he.

However, unfortunately there is no clear indicator in the oceans to predict these events. “Transitions between El Niño and La Niña phases, as well as variations in the Indian Ocean Oscillation, make these forecasts even more complex. We should expect this scenario to become increasingly common as the climate crisis worsens. »

Sunil Dowarkasing notes that certain regions, such as Port-Louis and the southwest of the island, are particularly vulnerable due to their geography. “Illegal construction uphill blocks the natural flow of water, exacerbating the problem. Comprehensive planning measures are crucial to address these issues. We need to build drains to absorb rainwater,” he recommends.

Additionally, with rising sea levels, water drainage is becoming a top priority. “It is essential to regulate illegal construction and build adequate drainage infrastructure to proactively address this reality,” he continues.

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