The Seychelles’ La Gogue dam expects to be operational early next year as final works to increase its capacity start, said a top official of the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) on Wednesday.
Work on Seychelles’ biggest water reservoir was expected to complete in 2020 but unfavourable conditions and technical issues as some experts could not arrive in the country on time with restrictions imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The additional works will cost SCR98 million ($7,2 million) and the main component will be the piling works, which is being undertaken to address seepage issues,” said Erna Victor, PUC’s project coordinator.
The piling work is being done by FrankiPile Mauritius International under the main contract of Synohydro, the company tasked with the extension work on the dam.
The extension of the La Gogue Dam got underway in January 2018 to increase its capacity by 600,000 cubic metres. Once completed the dam is expected to have a storage capacity of 1.6 million cubic metres.
The additional works will cost SCR98 million. (Sedrick Nicette, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Another concern is the impact the piling can have on some houses located within walking distance from the dam.
Victors said that work being done will have minimal impact on the properties as “the method of piling being used here does not produce a huge amount of disturbance for neighbouring houses, however, if there are any concerns, the public should feel free to contact us.”
She added that PUC officials have been on site since work began and have not experienced any excess vibrations, which is exactly why this method was chosen.
“The piling works are the most crucial one that needs to be done as it is only when that’s done, that we can start to fill in the dam, while other minor work can continue in the meantime,” she added.
The final work will also include the construction of an underground wall of 37 metres.
Once the dam becomes operational, work will shift to the second component of the project which is the construction of a new water treatment plant with a capacity to treat 4,400 cubic metres of water per day.
It will be the fourth treatment plant after Hermitage, Le Niole and Cascade which distributes potable water on Mahe.
With the largest dam not in operation, Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, faces water scarcity during the dry season from May to September when the southeast trade winds kick in.