May 26, 2024

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Water shortage in Martinique: the city of Saint-Joseph is particularly punished… the mayor is angry

Water shortage in Martinique: the city of Saint-Joseph is particularly punished… the mayor is angry

Yann Monplaisir did not mince his words the day after many of his constituents mobilized after more than a week without water. According to the mayor of Saint-Joseph, “it is not France, not the government, our local authority has failed”.

Tensions are high in homes, businesses and institutions with all water restrictions since the onset of the severe drought currently hitting Martinique. This year too, the flow of the catchment rivers is very low, so those involved in resource management along with the state have decided on strict restrictions.

For example, many schools without running water are forced to close, while health institutions affected by the shortage struggle to ensure the daily hygiene of their patients. This is especially true of the staff at Saint-Joseph Hospital who are in “System T” mode. Because of medieval water tricks, individuals are as angry as Gisele.

I am 75 years old, I suffer, I have pathology, I have all the difficulties. To poop quickly to clean the toilet, it’s quick when I take a shower. Then plug the washing machine quickly… I’ll be stressed for a week.

Giselle, the local Josephine

(on microphone by Ronan Bonnec)

On Monday, May 13, 2024, in the city’s storage area (Rivière-Blanche district), in the company of some members of the environmental association (Assoupama), after the mayor of the commune raised questions and rallied with its members, its mayor criticized those responsible for water management in Martinique.

According to Yann Monplaisir, a loan of 13 million euros will be owed from CTM (Martinique Regional Authority) to SAUR – Société d’Aménagement Urbain et Rural (representative operator of the public drinking water service in the region). crux of the problem “More Equal Distribution”.

I believe we need to be transparent with demographics. When you don’t pay your supplier, the latter must have difficulties. Consequently, SAUR did not carry out the contracted maintenance work. It starts from 2023. As a result, the plan to be carried out during Lent (…) was postponed. It’s not France that has failed, it’s not the government, it’s our local government.

Yann Monplaisir, Mayor of Saint-Joseph

Following two consecutive meetings, between the President of the CTM Executive Committee (Serge Letchimy) and the President of Cap Nord (Bruno Nestor Azérot) and other political actors and farmers on the one hand, decisions were made.

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Meeting between CTM and Cap Nord on drinking water scarcity (May 13, 2024).


Vive plant in Lorraine due to work to be carried out on sand mining “Only 20,000 m3 per day drinking water supply can be ensured”. But Serge Letzimi promises improvement in the efficiency of the island’s main manufacturing sector.

Work on the sand trap will begin for a month-long period by the end of June 2024 to increase the drinking water supply capacity to 24,000 m3 per day. [et] Initiation of technical studies to increase the maximum production capacity of the Vive plant to 35,000 m3 of potable water per day, thus improving the drinking water supply in Martinique.

Serge Letsimi, Martinique PCE

The President of the Cape Nord Integration Community, for his part, announced “The search for sustainable solutions involving the use of new underground resources” Especially in Lorraine and Grand Rivière.

However, as Bruno Nestor Azeroth notes“Despite the exploitation of the maximum production potential of the Morestin source, the currently available resource cannot meet all the needs of the inhabitants of the north of Martinique.”

EPCI plans to upgrade an additional 44 kilometers of network between 2024 and 2026. Work to improve the Galion water supply in Trinité should also begin by the end of 2024.

For his part, the prefect of the territory announced an immediate decree (scheduled for Friday, May 17) this Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at the end of a meeting on the situation with other actors. Professionals should reduce their consumption by at least 20%.

The situation experienced by Martinique is truly exceptional. It tends to reach that of 1973, the reference year in terms of drought, temperatures above average, precipitation in April 70% below the average of the last 30 years (…). In consultation with elected officials and water operators, it is important to go beyond regional contingencies to explore what initiatives we will undertake in the coming days. The decree will basically consist of calling on economic actors to improve water production on the one hand and to better distribute it on the other, that is, formalize the territorial unity that should be ours.

Jean-Christophe Bouvier, President of Martinique

(on microphone by Marc-Francois Calmo and Ronan Bonnec)


Meeting in the province on water scarcity in Martinique, with several stakeholders in resource management at the institution of the governor of the territory (May 2024).


But to the chagrin of affected users who felt that these series of consultations should have been conducted before the drought problems “Problem Politics”, Yan Monplaisir first.

They are coming to brief us as we met last night [lundi 13 mai], we will have water because we will increase production (…). We do not want to connect the networks, we have entrusted Martinique’s water policy to a private company, while all the elected officials have not been able to meet despite all the calls that have been launched, Martinican experts insist. Martinique can manage affairs better.

We pray that one day there will be only one authority to manage the resources, but it will not fundamentally change anything, because if we put our political friend, our relative or our obligee at the head of this authority, we did the electoral transaction, it will not work.

Yann Montplaisir, 1st Magistrate of Saint-Joseph

As for Odyssey, which complains of malnutrition in 4 of its municipalities (Schoelcher, Fort-de-France, Lamentin and Saint-Jospeh), its president does not mince his words: “King accepts SME’s demands”.

Network performance needs to be improved throughout Martinique, not just in the CACEM territory. [Commuanuté d’Agglomération du Centre de Martinique), c’est un faux problème. Mais j’insiste sur le partage de l’eau de la Rivière Blanche. Le préfet veut limiter notre prélèvement sur cette rivière à 21 000 m2. A ce niveau, on ne peut pas livrer Lamentin et Saint-Joseph. Donc si nous limitons notre prise, on nous oblige à aller acheter de l’eau que nous pouvons produire nous-même. En d’autres termes, on nous dit ne prenez pas plus d’eau ; achetez plutôt au niveau de la SME pour leur permettre de faire du chiffre d’affaires. Je trouve que ce portage est tout à fait inique et je ne suis pas le seul à le dire. Nous constatons tout simplement que le préfet a accédé aux demandes de la SME.

Yvon Paquit, président du conseil d’administration d’Odyssi

(interrogé par Eddylia Eugène-Mormin sur Martinique 1ère télé)

Pour rappel, la Société Martiniquaise des Eaux (la SME) est le distributeur de 30 communes sur 34 dans l’île.

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