Case Study

La Gogue Dam, Seychelles

LA GOGUE DAM

Case Study Summary The raising of La Gogue Dam is one of the major civil engineering projects being undertaken by the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), a state-owned company that operates and manages the dam.
Sector
           WATER
Key Topics •       Community engagement
•       Capacity building
•       Gender equality
•       Supporting livelihoods
Project Owner Public Utilities Corporation (PUC)
Project Supporter African Development Bank
Project Start/Completion 2018 – Ongoing
Location North Mahé, Seychelles
Community Impacted Urban, Rural, Coastal
Climate Hazards Mitigated Drought
Case Study Provided by

The raising of La Gogue Dam is one of the major civil engineering projects being undertaken by the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), a state-owned company that operates and manages the dam.

About the Project

The main aim of the project is to increase the storage capacity of La Gogue dam by 60% (from 1Mm³ to 1.6Mm³) as part of a nationwide effort to improve raw water storage systems and thus improve climate resiliency. This will lead to a reduction in the need for water-rationing during dry seasons due to insufficient supply to match the increasing demand. It will also support the tourism industry (the country’s main economic driver) and manufacturing/industries e.g. fisheries/beverages. Access to clean water supply throughout the year will also be a contributing factor to the maintenance of high social development indicators, such as gender equality or quality of life.

The dam is the largest of two in the country and is the main water store for the island which houses the majority of the country’s population (about 100,000 people). The raising of the dam includes the following main components:

  • Raising of the dam’s embankment by 6m; the full storage capacity will be increased by 600,000 m³
  • Seepage control measures for the natural north and south saddles
  • The construction of a new spillway on the right embankment
  • The raising of the intake tower by 6m
  • Replacement of all ductile iron pipelines, valves, and fittings that are housed in the intake tunnel
  • Construction of temporary and permanent

Intended Outcomes

Environmental

The increased storage capacity will improve water supply services during dry periods and will also lead to a reduction in energy costs from the operation of desalination plants (though these will still act as back-up). The increased water production capacity will help to reduce the dependency of households on bottled water during dry periods. The establishment of a catchment and buffer zone (no-development zone) around the dam will also help to ensure the dam’s security from contamination.

Social

This project has helped to create job opportunities during the implementation stage, and will continue to do so through the operation and maintenance of the dam. Gender equality has been prioritised throughout the consultation process by targeting women engineers for on-job training and offering project management and dam construction training for both men and women.

The project will also lead to improvements in sanitation facilities in schools (in addition to water tanks) and a reduced need for additional efforts in getting water for households.

Economic

The increased water supply of the dam will support growth in the tourism industry, which is a main contributor to the country’s economy, as well as other industries reliant on water.

The dam is being raised by 6m, determined as the maximum feasible height. This is expected to have a major impact on the country’s resilience to climate change as it addresses water supply constraints to the central and northern regions of Mahé during extended dry periods.Erna Victor, Public Utilities Corporation (PUC)

Financing

The project is being financed under a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) through the Government of Seychelles (GOS). Prior to financing approval, the AfDB conducted an in-depth assessment of the expected outcomes, particularly their feasibility and performance indicators. Lessons learnt include ensuring that the implementation of highly technical projects is supported through capacity building within the implementing agency due to a lack of expertise in dam construction projects. Therefore, project management training, technical assistance, and an experienced technical firm were included in the project’s implementation.

 

Stakeholder engagement

Consultations and meetings with relevant stakeholders took place during the appraisal mission (prior to signature of financing agreement) as well as during the preparation of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). The stakeholders involved were the residents of Anse Etoile and Glacis districts, who would be directly affected by the impacts of the project, as well as the two districts councils, represented by members of the National Assembly.

Issues raised during consultations and meetings were:

  • Close consultations should be continued with PUC during implementation
  • Propose disaster-preparedness emergency plan and train experts in handling emergencies, and
  • Door-to-door communication with households close to the dam.

The design of the project has accommodated these three areas of intervention. The consultation process was continued through regional public meetings on Mahé, detailing the relevant works under the project prior to commencement. This was further supplemented by door-to-door visits with households within a close vicinity of the dam as raised in previous consultations.

 

Number of vulnerable people made more resilient by this project

100,000


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