Weekly Update: Internet slowdown this weekend

Expat news
  • shutterstock.com
Published on 2023-08-11 at 06:36 by Lila Chaleon*
This week, Mauritius is experiencing issues with limited internet connectivity. Residents of the Southeast region of the island are demanding compensation following the MV Wakashio shipwreck, while a report from the Bank of Mauritius highlights an increase in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

Damaged undersea cables: Slower internet

In recent days, internet in Mauritius has been operating more slowly than usual due to two main reasons: maintenance work on the LION cable (Lower Indian Ocean Network) and a failure of the SAFE cable (South Africa Far East). This means that file downloads take longer, and the quality of the mobile network is also affected.

The maintenance work on the LION cable is expected to be completed around the 12th. It began around August 7 off the coast of Kenya. As for the SAFE cable, it was damaged by rocks and mud in Congo and is currently under repair. To minimize disruptions, internet providers in Mauritius, such as Mauritius Telecom and Emtel, had to redirect traffic through other cables.

Major claims three years after the MV Wakashio shipwreck

Three years after the MV Wakashio shipwreck and the ensuing oil spill, a legal action has been initiated by 1,762 residents and business operators from 32 regions in the Southeast of the island. A summons with complaint has been filed in the Supreme Court against the ship's owners and insurers: Okiyo Maritime Corp, Nagashaki Shipping Co Ltd, Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd, and the Japan Ship Owners' Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association. The plaintiffs collectively demand approximately 5.3 billion rupees in damages for the harm suffered as a result of the oil spill.

The plaintiffs, who heavily depend on the coastal region and the Southeast lagoon for their lives and livelihoods, estimate significant damages, valued at around 3 million rupees per person. Losses in income related to fishing and maritime activities, as well as adverse effects on the environment, marine life, and tourism, have also been cited.

Foreign investments on the rise

During the first quarter of 2023, gross foreign direct investment flows to Mauritius were estimated at about 7.2 billion rupees, an increase of 2 billion compared to the figures recorded in the first quarter of the previous year. According to data from the Bank of Mauritius, the real estate sector was the primary recipient of these foreign investment flows, closely followed by the accommodation and restaurant sector. On the other hand, other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, trade, education, and healthcare received only a minimal share of these investments.

During the same period, the financial and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors received 49 million rupees and 371 million rupees in foreign direct investments, respectively. These investment flows to Mauritius primarily come from France and the United Arab Emirates.