It is a serious humanitarian and health crisis that is looming in the poorest department of France. In Mayotte, access to drinking water has become an "everyday war for the Mahorais," says Mansour Kamardine, deputy of the Republicans of the 2nd constituency of the island. In a statement published Monday, September 25, the deputy calls for the "immediate" triggering of the Orsec plan (Organization of the response of Civil Security) in order to preserve the entire population, while the Minister Delegate for Overseas, Philippe Vigier, begins a visit to Mayotte this Wednesday.
Measures of the Orsec "drinking water" plan are put in place every year on French territory to guarantee the supply of water during shortages. This aims above all to coordinate decision-making under the authority of the prefect and to mobilize various actors such as civil security, the army or the navy in the face of a crisis situation. Faced with the record drought of the 101st French department, the prefecture has so far instituted water cuts that have risen to two days out of three since the beginning of September. In addition, three islanders died of carbon monoxide poisoning last weekend while trying to restart a well. In this context, the MP from Mayotte considers it incomprehensible that the plan has not been launched.
After the arrival of 600,000 liters of water in mid-September from the metropolis, 1.2 million liters of water must arrive on the island in October, and be distributed to the most vulnerable populations. "It's not enough," says Mansour Kamardine. Only 10% of the population of Mayotte is concerned by this aid. The needs are much greater, just for the schools on the island we need 6 million liters of water," he says. Several schools had to close on 21 September because of the impossibility of providing drinking water to students. Since then, schools have reopened but are facing an extremely difficult situation, especially from a health point of view.
In addition, Mansour Kamardine recalled "that Mayotte is a land of immigration and that people continue to arrive on the island despite the lack of water. So the situation can only get worse." The Indian Ocean island lives under pressure from illegal immigration, particularly from neighbouring Comoros, and is experiencing population growth of 4% per year. This dramatic situation was "predictable and avoidable", according to the Mahoran MP who stresses that "political decisions should have been taken upstream, with the development of infrastructure for waterand border control".