Integrated and Comprehensive Sanitation Master Plan for Seychelles
The Republic of Seychelles consists of 115 islands scattered over 1 million square kilometres of sea in the middle of the Western Indian Ocean. Over the past 5 years, the Seychelles have successfully achieved a remarkable economic growth rate due to tourism, fisheries and the offshore sector, which has had an impact on the environment. Preserving the country’s fragile environment is paramount for facilitating its economic growth. The coverage with functioning sanitation systems is low, with only 15% of the population being connected to a sewer system with treatment plants and the remaining households, hotels, resorts, etc. using mostly septic tanks with limited effectiveness.
The tight linkages between sanitation, water supply, energy, wastewater and stormwater make it necessary to adopt an approach which integrates sanitation planning with these closely linked sectors, within the general framework of urban planning.
Through a project of the African Development Bank, MWH supports the Public Utilities Corporation in Seychelles, with the development of a sanitation master plan, which assesses the existing condition and challenges and aims to develop innovative and cost effective strategies to improve the sanitation systems on the three main islands of the archipelago – Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
The project will focus on the sanitation systems and through an integrated approach ensure optimization of the links with the sectors of:
- water supply by considering the impact of using reclaimed water for drinking water; supply, irrigation, process water in households or for industrial use and groundwater recharge, and developing demand side measures, conservation measures, and rainwater harvesting;
- energy supply and solid waste by maximizing synergies with the planned waste to energy initiative (renewable energy potential of wastewater and sludge), evaluating existing and planned sanitation systems’ energy demand and assessing effects of water reuse on the water supply systems’ energy demand;
- storm water management through assessing the impact of floods on the sanitation infrastructure and analyzing the interest of promoting rainwater harvesting measures and groundwater recharge;
- agriculture by analyzing the impact of reclaimed water and recycled sludge on productivity and production costs.
La Digue, Seychelles
Land use planning and climate change are two important aspects embedded in the development of the master plan. The project is the base for the realization of highly innovative sanitation solutions with multi-sectoral benefits, with two main long-term impacts: the improvement of the Seychelles environment and the improvement of health and sanitary conditions at the targeted islands.
The project will develop and help selecting sustainable strategies for the sanitation system, in order to enhance the current situation and preserve the unique environment of Seychelles for future generations.