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Seychelles’ utilities company seeks to raise $ 116 million to implement sanitation master plan

Victoria, Seychelles | April 30, 2018, Monday @ 09:56 in National » GENERAL | By: Sharon Ernesta | Views: 4175
Seychelles’ utilities company seeks to raise $ 116 million to implement sanitation master plan

The treatment plant at Providence is one of the four sewage plants on Mahe. (Salifa Karapetyan)

Photo license  

(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles’ Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) is raising funds to implement the island nation's new integrated and comprehensive sanitation master plan.

The planned changes, which are slated to kick off in 2020, will include the construction of 10 sanitation catchments on the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. The sanitation catchments will cost around $116 million.

In a bid to raise funds for the project, the utility company held a donor conference at the Eden Bleu hotel last  Tuesday.

“Your presence and participation testify to the importance you attached to the socio-economic development of Seychelles and also shows a strong commitment on your part to work with PUC and of course the Republic of Seychelles in its investment and implementation plans,” said Wills Agricole, the principal secretary for Climate Change and Energy, while addressing potential investors.

Agricole added that “as a government that prides itself on its environmental achievements, it has therefore decided to seek investment in this Integrated and comprehensive sanitation master plan for Mahe, Praslin and La Digue which is ready for implementation.”

A donor conference was organised to raise funds for the new integrated and comprehensive sanitation master plan. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

The main objective of the Seychelles Integrated and Comprehensive Sanitation Master Plan is to develop an integrated, comprehensive and innovative sanitation solution for the three main islands of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

The plan is also taking into consideration the principles of the Integrated Urban Water Management. This approach in the sanitation master plan study will provide the linkages with other sectors such as water, electricity, waste, and drainage to a feasible level.

The plan also includes turning wastewater into reusable water and the treatment of sludge for other useable purposes such as fertilisers. If funds are available, the project is expected to start in two years and it will be done in phases after completion of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for each phase.

PUC’s managing director for water and sewage, Steve Mussard, said that the master plan is “to minimise the impact and sustain a viable environment, there is a need to connect more households and businesses to the sewage system which at the moment is very low, at 15 percent.”

Mussard said that currently “85 percent of establishments are relying on septic tanks, of which most of them are of an older system,” explained Mussard, adding that “the amount of wastewater flowing in the environment is not doing much good, especially at some housing estates.”

Potential investors at the donor conference included the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Kuwaiti Fund, as well as local representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Seychelles Investment Board, Seychelles Energy Commission, banks as well as insurance companies.

The EIB is already providing funding to the Public Utilities Corporation under the Resource Efficiency Programme for the Seychelles Water Sector and the Neptune Project. These projects are aimed at alleviating water shortages in Seychelles, through the implementation of energy efficiency, water demand management, and drought risk mitigation programmes.

EIB’s representative Laurence Doumenc said “our project engineers and economists will have to analyse the plan as it is new to us, and we have just been presented with the findings. But we are positive of our participation in this project.”

Liesel Robson representing Barclays Bank Seychelles said that the Seychelles Sanitation Master Plan “is a viable project, as the demand for the service is there. The availability to pay for these services is also there. And you do have donors willing to provide funding at a very good rate.”

 At the moment, there are four sewage plants on Mahe - one in Providence and one in Beau Vallon as large catchments, and two small catchments, one at Point Larue and another at Chetty Flats at Anse Aux Pins. There are no sewage plants on Praslin and La Digue.

Under the Integrated and Comprehensive sanitation Master Plan seven new catchments will be built on the main island and three on the other two most populated islands – Praslin and La Digue. 

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Tags: Eden Bleu, Seychelles Integrated and Comprehensive Sanitation Master Plan, Integrated Urban Water Management, Resource Efficiency Programme

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