Flood response preparation drill held at Midlands Dam

Demonstrations in line with the flood response preparation were carried out this morning at the Midlands Dam by the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Services (MFRS) in the presence of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo and high ranking officers of the MFRS.

The demonstrations included the use of samples of special flood barriers provided by United Kingdom (UK) consultants, to redirect water flow in cases of flooding. Moreover, the MFRS made use of a high-volume pump recently acquired to the tune of Rs 27 m, for rapid removal of water. The Swift Water Unit of the MFRS also demonstrated how they proceed during a rescue operation.

In a statement to the press, the Vice-Prime Minister highlighted that the island is facing the consequences of climatic changes through erratic weather conditions such as heavy rainfalls and floods as experienced in the past few months. Hence, she said, it is imperative that the country is prepared for similar natural disasters in the future and ensure that the population receives prompt and efficient rescue services.

On that note, she underscored the important role of the MFRS which is a key player in handling these critical situations. She recalled that the MFRS intervenes not only for fire hazards but also in cases of other emergency threats where there are risks of life loss, property destruction and environmental damage.

The Vice-Prime Minister reiterated the support of her Ministry in backing initiatives serving to strengthen the workforce, capacity and to provide the necessary equipment. She emphasised that the safety and protection of the population is one of the major concerns of Government in times of natural calamities and the necessary measures to minimise disaster risks are being undertaken.

Indeed the flood response preparation drill today, she said, demonstrates the preparedness and capacity of the MFRS in deploying its team to use the newly acquired high-volume pump to remove water in flooded areas. She noted that with the upgrading and development of resources and equipment, such as the newly acquired fire truck, there are new scopes of intervention of firefighters who are also being trained to engage in different situations of life-saving.

She further underlined that two UK consultants, specialists in flood management and disaster risk reduction, are currently working with the MFRS and other rescue Units to come up with solutions regarding houses that are located in flood-prone areas so that they are safeguarded from the dangers posed by accumulation of flood water.

Source: Government of Mauritius