3rd Floor, Botanical House
Minister Antony Derjacques affirmed that all projects on La digue will take into consideration the environment, tourism and the overall green Island concept that it represents.
“We are very conscious that the environment must remain intact, which means that La digue must remain green,” affirms the Minister for Transport, Antony Derjacques after observing the progress of the Port extension project on the Island.
The Minister was accompanied on this second day of visit to La digue by the CEO for SPA- Sony Payet, the SPA project manager-Franky Laporte, the Senior legal officer within the Ministry-Kenny Elizabeth and the project coordinator for inner islands for SlTA-Terry Volcere.
The first stop was at the La digue port, where ongoing work is being undertaken to extend this facility. The La digue port extension is one of the major projects of SPA which seeks to modernize, organize and improve the security in the area.
The project involves the construction of 126 m quay wall that will be used as a cargo terminal. It will include operations such as unloading and loading and space for a Seypec point of refuelling. This part of the project is very near to its completion with about 2 more months to go. This will allow for more secure port operations compared to the current process that is hazardous to passengers walking along the quay to reach the inner most of the island.
“We are doing all this to encourage more businesses on La digue, a bit like we are doing on Praslin. When making such investment, there must be control, regulations and fees to be applied to address the proper use of the port. And this requires continued discussion with the La digue community,” further explained CEO Payet.
The second phase of the project is the dredging of the right hand side (In front of the famous Toraza restaurant) of the quay to remove accumulated sand. This will leave room for a larger, safer & deeper docking area for fishing boats and approximately 15 leisure boats such as yachts. The current parking area for land transport will remain.
“Today, we can see that we have boats that docked in the sand. It is a wasted area. The previous quay wall is now closer to Taroza. Many boats can no longer use this area. [...] Before the end of this month, we will move to this phase, which has already been approved by the concerned authorities. We will remove all this sand and place it on beaches suffering from erosion on La digue,” says CEO of SPA-Sony Payet.
The existing passenger disembarkation quay will remain. The La digue port extension commenced 9 months ago.
“This has taken a lot of effort from SPA and with the new leadership of SPA, we see that things are moving very fast. And we are able to implement several projects for the Diguois,” says Minister Derjacques.
After the completion of the phase 1 and 2, SPA plans to focus on surface infrastructure development that will include other commercial stakeholders.
The Minister for Transport also visited three roads on La digue that is subject on SLTA’s project list. The La digue Island is now undergoing major works by PUC that is installing new pipe around the island. The whole of the island caters for 13 km of road.
Most of SLTA road works for this island is now on hold awaiting the completion of the PUC works.
The first stop was at the Vanilla road, newly surfaced in 2021. It is now almost a foot path after recent works undertaken by PUC. Minister Derjacques is calling on better coordination to ensure that resources does not go to waste.
“We need better planning or else the resources of SLTA and PUC will go to waste,” strongly recommends Minister Derjacques.
The delegation also visited the Coco-Ibrid and Pension Michel road that is on the agency’s agenda. Coco-Ibrid is currently not on the SLTA budget for 2023. They are both footpaths that serves as access roads to many households.
“It is a road that has been on the SLTA program for a while. It includes it’s surfacing, drainage and culverts where necessary. But it is currently on hold awaiting the completion of PUC sewage pipe works.
The Ministry for Transport and SLTA calls on public understanding as the joint project s are being undertaken.
The Minister for Transport has overall responsibility for the departments, as well as its arm’s length bodies (ALBs), which have established governance structures.