Week 11 (starting march 13th)
The amazing story of the ‘new’ ID Card. Except it is not really new – just something that has been going on for ages. It was first introduced in September 2013. According to the article in l’Express: 950’000 have already gotten their new one, but there are a few who have been lazy and there are those who refuse to do it. It’s a biometric one, that means that people have to give their fingerprints. Between 2013 and today they have continually given extensions but apparently this time it is the last. Maybe the new Prime Minister was serious when he said ‘ Nothing will happen to those who don’t get it done before the 1st of April – except if they get stopped for a control then it’s a fine up to 100k MUR (that’s $2’800) and up to 1 yr in prison. That’s quite a lot considering the average salary was 26’331 MUR/month ($738.-) in 2015 (source: Central Statistic Office, Mauritius).
The Metro Express. This is not the name of a news paper but the big discussions around the new metro system that the government is launching. A huge article, the move is starting – in the French paper Le Defi Quotidien, explains how many places around the capital and in the centre of other cities need to be evacuated to make space for progress. We are talking about 1000s of people. Many still don’t know what kind compensations they will be getting or where they can possibly move their shops to. Of course Mauritius needs to move forward and when it comes to public transport and transportation as whole it is a must. The Metro Express will go from Curepipe (the largest city in the southern centre of the island) to Port Louis. Here is the map that came out last week. Progress is good, but what price will local people have to pay?
A colonial style house for sale in Port Louis – apparently one of the only ones with a floor. The current owner wanted to bulldoze it and build an (ugly?) 12 floor appartment building instead – it was saved by the Ministry of Arts and Culture last year. Price: Rs 23 Million ($650k) – a bargain. Then one would need to restore it as well, of course.
The other story is not really about Mauritius, but Madagascar, the Big Island. The global peace index… Now I ever always heard how dangerous Madagascar is. It is a very very poor country, everybody knows that, it is also classified number 38 on the list – which really isn’t bad, at all. I come, as you might know from beautiful Denmark – number 2. Mauritius is 23. Madagascar is before the UK: number 47, the US: number 103, South Africa ranks 126. One can unfortunately guess that Syria is closing the list. On the website you can see the different factors taken into account to get to the result.
Every Thursday in l’Express there is a kids section, called l’express Junior. A little 6-7 page newspaper for kids from 7 and up. It’s in French though. I think it’s great to give the kids something they are interested in reading. The main article is called ‘Why should we reduce our waste’ – explaining where the trash goes (there is no incinerator on the island, so it is buried). Recycling is not really a big thing yet – though there are some initiatives around the island. Unfortunately things like Tetra Pak can still not be recycled. It is one of the big battles Mauritius has to take up and fast. And the right way to do it, is to educate the children of the country. The Prime Minister was out picking up trash with his family a week back or so, at the launch of the Clean Up Campaign (article in English from le Défi).
A new daily newspaper will have its first edition tomorrow: Bonzour!
“behind each success and each tragedy, there is someone, often a hero or an anonymous victim. Who are they? What are their dreams?(…)”
That is apparently the main idea of this new daily – make stories about the people in the papers.
It is an interesting concept. Probably one that will go down well with the Mauritians. It is a small island and everybody like to know what happens around them.
Just wanted to update on Enawo, the cyclone that hit Madagascar 10 days ago. The last record shows 78 deaths, 18 disappeared, hundreds of wounded and 400’000 victims. Water supply is still a big issue in the north. The whole region is helping the Big island, the Red Cross is organising disaster relief and has called for the international community to help. One of the regions that was hit was Antalaha: the area where Vanilla is grown. Nearly 100% of the production was destroyed – the economic impact for that region will be massive, since vanilla is one of the biggest income revenues.
Happy week end to all!