The news at a glance: drought ahead!

Expat news
Published on 2022-09-23 at 09:20
There is a risk of severe drought this summer, authorities have announced. Also in the news, port, airport and sugar industry workers are threatening to go on strike if there is no improvement in their work conditions.

Water: risk of drought this summer

Water cuts are becoming more and more frequent in various regions of the island. Just this week more than 6,000 homes were deprived of water in the north and in the west of the island. Other regions are also expected to be affected by this in the coming weeks. Indeed, the Central Water Authority predicts a prolonged drought during the coming months. 

The authorities are pessimistic although it is not yet the rainy season. The season runs from December to April. The water level in the reservoirs has been steadily decreasing for several weeks. The Bagatelle Dam is at 66% of its capacity, La Nicolière at 74%, while the La ferme reservoir is barely above 50%.

Restrictive measures could be implemented as was the case in 2020.

The port, the airport and the sugar industry in turmoil

It does not look like the port situation is about to improve. While activities have been slowing down for several months now following a dispute between the CHCL and the union, this time the Mauritius Ports Authority is facing other demands from the port's employees. Indeed, they are asking for salaries to be reviewed in order to put an end to inequalities. This demand concerns some 500 employees.

Sugar industry workers are also demanding better working conditions. Indeed, the 18 companies in the country have not renewed the various partnership agreements since 2017. And negotiations between several companies are at an impasse. The unions have announced that actions could be taken if no common ground is found. Some 4,500 workers are affected in this sector.

Turbulence also at the airport. 800 Airmate employees are in limbo about their future. Management is not saying anything about the future of these employees. A meeting is scheduled between the union and management this Friday to find a solution. If no consensus is reached, the unions do not rule out a workers strike.

The payment of allowances to engineers of the national airline, Air Mauritius, is another issue that was brought up. Negotiations have been initiated in this regard.