That was the country’s goal in the dramatic water crisis in Mayotte, holding out until November and its first significant rains. However, the deterioration of the situation changes the situation and forces him to take new measures, which he announced at the end of an inter-ministerial meeting in Matignon on Thursday 5 October: the state will pay the bills for September to December, “considering the very significant deterioration of the service provided to the public” ; new water supply by boat and tanker from the ports of Marseille, Le Havre and Reunion Island; and from here to “mid november”distribution of free bottles to others rather than the 51,000 people identified as vulnerable already served.
“Three hundred soldiers and civilians will be deployed in Mayotte to ensure the logistics of this distribution”explains Prime Minister Elizabetes Borne’s statement to the press, which invites “the duty of national solidarity for the people of Mahores”. Most of the additional supplies will come from France. All Reunion Island strategic stocks can be mobilized. Current decisions will not affect the department’s water supply.
“We are in a race against time. We have to last until January”, states the delegate of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Philippe Vizier. Neither rain nor the grid is expected to return to normal before the beginning of 2024. On the island everyone is afraid of “zero drop” at the tap before a new water supply.
Cuts on two out of three days since September 4 and the installation of water ramps were not enough to alleviate the shortage. Daily needs estimated at 44,000 cubic meters cannot be met by water production, less than 20,000 cubic meters per day, while leakages and illegal withdrawals from the network are estimated at 15,000 cubic meters per day. Mountain reservoirs have never been filled so easily and will be dry at the end of October “how it is now”admits Thierry Suquet, prefect of the department.
“We will demand ever greater efforts”, agreed Philippe Vizier, who expects local elected officials to brief residents during his visit on Sept. 27 and 28. One of the scenarios envisaged from mid-October is the halving of supply periods: two fifteen-hour connections per week are planned, ie tap water one day out of four.
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