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Blight at the end of the gunwale

Atoxic eyesore - a disused solid waste tip - disfigures Port Louis, capital of island paradise Mauritius.

The tip is part of a 10ha site in Port Louis' Roche Bois district which includes a derelict animal quarantine station. It blights the surrounding area. Roche Bois suffers from social and economic deprivation.

But plans are afoot to transform the area. The contaminated dump site, which borders an inshore lagoon and a bird sanctuary, will be contained and the land reclaimed to provide parkland with walkways, platforms on which to view birds, two football pitches and a children's play area.

The regeneration strategy, being drawn up by UK consultant Scott Wilson, tackles environmental hazards including leachate and landfill gas migration that were identified during environmental monitoring and ground investigation. There is to be a Scott Wilson designed gas venting system and the landfill is to be capped.

Existing buildings will be refurbished as workshops in a bid to generate local employment opportunities.

Work is due to begin on site in early May.

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