The young French department has been overpopulated for many years. Official figures are countered by actual consumption and waste production (299,350 inhabitants according to the Institut National de Statistiques et d’Etudes Economiques, 600,000 according to consumption indicators). In any case, water shortages have become increasingly frequent over the past few months, and the Prefecture of Mayotte has reacted with unprecedented urgency by introducing unprecedented cut-offs. According to the Prefecture, drought is the main cause of the shortages.
“Mayotte is facing an unprecedented drought this year. With the exception of 1997, there has never been so little rain in the department. Filling levels in hillside reservoirs and water tables are exceptionally low. Low water levels in rivers are particularly sudden and severe.
Thanks to everyone’s efforts, the system of nightly water turns set up several months ago should enable water resources to be conserved until the rainy season. While the first cut-offs resulted in significant savings, the 4ᵉ tour set up on June 12 has not achieved its objectives.
Thus, one week after the introduction of this new cut-off, water consumption in the département had increased compared with the previous week. The decline in reservoir levels is accelerating despite the measures taken: the Combani reservoir is 43% full and the Dzoumogné reservoir 22% full, compared with 47% and 27% respectively before the 4ᵉ cut. This alarming situation must be rectified without delay.
The Water Resource Monitoring Committee has met to redefine the operation of the water towers. A number of actions have been taken to achieve the savings targets set and preserve the reserves in the hill reservoirs as far as possible.
As of Monday July 3, 2023, the four night-time water turns will be reorganized as follows: The 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. cut-off time does not allow for sufficient reduction in water consumption.
Source: Prefecture of Mayotte