writers Jin Zheng, Wen Hao PORT LOUIS (Xinhua) -- The
pristine beaches in the Indian Ocean Archipelago of Mauritius
have always fascinated well-heeled foreign tourists and a
China-built mega dam that was launched this June has added
another sparkle to the country’s timeless beauty.
The Bagatelle dam, which is located 22
km southeast of the Mauritian capital of Port Louis and has an
elevation of 350 to 400 meters, is surrounded by picturesque
sceneries like expansive sugar cane plantations, which happens
to be one of the country’s main foreign exchange earners
Nowadays, the image of the dam is a
spectacle to behold and local people are keen to take a
leisurely walk in its vicinity to enjoy the cool breeze.
The dam is expected to benefit 20
percent of land mass and 30 percent of the population in
Mauritius while enabling the capital of Port Louis and its
surrounding areas to meet its long-term water needs by 2050,
said Zhao Xudong, deputy manager of the Bagatelle project, in a
recent interview with Xinhua.
The project was built by the China
International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE), a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the China Three Gorges Corporation, which was the
first state-owned enterprise of the Chinese hydropower industry
to take part in international economic cooperation initiatives.
“As the first large-scale water
project in Mauritius that was financed by the Chinese government
and successfully implemented by Chinese companies, and the only
large-scale water project initiated in the last 15 years, the
importance of Bagatelle dam is self-evident,” said Zhao.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the former
president of Mauritius, once said the China-built dam heralded a
golden era of abundant water supply in fast growing Port Louis
and its adjacent regions.
“Thanks to Chinese friends for
building this great dam for us. It will make thousands of our
citizens no longer worry about where to obtain clean drinking
water,” said the ex-president of one of Africa’s most robust
The completion of Bagatelle dam,
described as a “grey miracle in the pearl of the Indian ocean,”
marked a critical milestone in Mauritius’ quest to modernize its
water supply services.
Lomush Juggoo, director of Mauritius’s
Water Resources Unit, said the dam, when filled to capacity in
the wake of a prolonged rainfall season, will supplement
existing reservoirs to meet a rising demand for safe drinking
water in the country.