The four projects of desalination in Rodrigues seem not to please everyone. During a press conference on the 23rd of July, the leader of the political party Front Patriotique Rodriguais (FPR), Johnson Roussety, spoke out against the initiatives.
In a world where sustainable development is the talk of the day, many are raising their voices as to the consequences of the deeds of mankind on the environment. Motivated by similar considerations, Johnson Roussety has questioned the wisdom behind the desalination projects in Rodrigues: why coming up with an extremely costly project when other methods would have been more feasible? Furthermore, according to him, the projects will bear negative consequences on the environment. He cautions the regional government to fear the possible repercussions.
Better alternatives: less investment and environment-friendly
In his opinion, desalination is not the solution. Rather, he talks about alternatives. Better alternatives, which would not involve expensive costs and environmental repercussions. According to him, the efforts should be focused on the other possible methods of managing water resources; among which he mentioned the management of surface water, and the collection of rainwater both on the individual and collective levels. He argues that rainwater is lost to the seas, while the seawater is then being considered to be desalinated at exorbitant prices: huge investments will have to be made to cater for the equipment and its running costs. Furthermore, the environment will have to bear the brunt of such projects.
EIA report not disclosed to the public yet
The usual procedures before launching a project entail the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to evaluate the effects on the environment that the project could have to gauge its feasibility. However, according to Johnson Roussety, the EIA for two of the projects have not been made public. Nor has the public been allowed the opportunity to voice out their opinions on the situation. Johnson Roussety stated that the whole population should speak against this; but, how will they when the EIA report was not available while the works have already begun?