Mauritius will use $162 million in rebuilding a 214 year-old coastal village that was hit by the island’s worst environmental disaster, according to the National Infrastructure Ministry.

The government is set to spend $62.8 million in Mahebourg consolidating existing infrastructure and adding amenities to the waterfront esplanade over six years.

It is projected that private sector-led projects will contribute nearly $100 million for affordable housing, mixed-use development and ecological zones.

Mahebourg is the biggest of the villages battling a double challenge on the southeastern coast. The COVID-19 pandemic has grounded the tourism sector – Mauritius’ largest contributor to its gross domestic product – to a halt.

An oil spill after a Japanese vessel ran aground on a reef in Mauritius coastal water on July 25 and began leaking oil on August 8 further impacted the village that is hugely reliant on fishing and a cultural landmark of the Indian Ocean island nation.

Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping, owner of the vessel that spilled over 1,000 tonnes of oil in August said that the clean-up will likely end in January.

It also said in a statement that all of the oil that had been floating in the ocean had been recovered and hat work to remove the oil along approximately 30 km of coastline was proceeding smoothly and would likely be completed by January, 2021.

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