Renting or buying real estate properties in Tamarin & Black River: Places to avoid

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In this article we will show you, which areas of Tamarin and Black River you should avoid, when you buy or rent a property. We will show you which areas will be affected by climate change, which areas suffer from hazardous levels of pollution due to high levels of traffic and we will discuss hot spots regarding noise emissions.

Within the series “Important things to consider when renting or buying apartments and houses in Mauritius” we discussed 3 important issues:

  1. Climate change, erosion and inundation, coastal setback and the influence on the value of properties >> Read more
  2. Hazardous levels of pollution along busy roads causing severe health problems and even death >> Read more
  3. Noise emissions from dogs, parties, construction sites and roads disturbing you throughout the day and killing your sleep at night >> Read more

Discussing these issues brought us to the following conclusions:

  1. Mauritius is highly vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change. Erosion and inundation will require coastal setback. Many hot spots around Mauritius have been identified by scientists and set-back zones have been defined by the government. Properties and houses in affected areas will obviously suffer heavy drops in value. These effects of climate change are not yet reflected in actual property prices.
  2. The uncontrolled growth of motor vehicles in Mauritius has created tremendous amounts of traffic, congestion, traffic jam and pollution. In close proximity to busy roads there are hazardous levels of pollution (ca. 50m) and in proximity there are significantly elevated levels (ca. 50-200m). Hazardous levels of pollution close to busy roads create severe health problems including deadly patterns such as cardiovascular mortality, 
  3. The classic problem, which can be found in many countries around the globe: Noise emissions disturbing you during the day and killing your sleep at night. Everybody who already experienced sleepless nights for a couple of days knows, why this is one of the toughest torturing methods. In Mauritius there are in particular four noise related problems: Barking dogs, loud parties at night, construction sites and roads.

As previously announced we will now apply the findings of this series to a concrete place: Tamarin and Black River, being one of the most popular spots what the purchasing and renting of properties concerns. In this article we will show you, which areas of Tamarin and Black River you should avoid, when you buy or rent a property. We will show you which areas will be affected by climate change, which areas suffer from hazardous levels of pollution due to high levels of traffic and we will discuss hot spots regarding noise emissions. While the first two are constant issues, the latter aspect is of course undergoing constant changes.


The effects of climate change in Tamarin and Black River

Mauritius is one of the countries being most affected by global warming and climate change. The report "Guideline For Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (Coastal Setback)" has shown the impact of these developments at some prominent examples around the island. The report is based on assumptions which are already invalid today, because climate change will be more fast and severe than assumed and because actual trends do not show an improvement but a worsening of the scenario.

Though only a part of Tamarin can be found within this report as one of many examples, the whole area is of course heavily affected. In principle all the areas between the main road A3 and the sea are or will be highly affected areas, maybe with some rare examples in the area of the London Way and Ruisseau Creole where there is quite a bit of space and height between the sea and the road. This areas are probably less or later affected.

It means that properties in these area will suffer heavy losses in value over time. Obviously the value of many properties will go to zero at a certain time, because they will get inundated. Surprisingly there is heavy construction ongoing in this area. Some projects like Manta Cove even beach front. Others like the Résidence Le Martello are marketed as excellent investment opportunities despite these facts.

Either the people behind these projects are completely ignorant or completely arrogant. Ignorant because they don't understand the effects of climate change or because they don't believe in the scientific research made. Arrogant because they believe, that they will find enough “stupid” (foreigner) buyers before the first effects are obvious. And what happens after that is simply “not our problem”.

Busy roads with hazardous emissions in Tamarin and Black River

Royal Road A3

The B9 from Souillac to Black River gets busier the closer you get to Black River and vice versa. The A3 starting in Black River and going towards Cascavelle is one of the busiest main road of Mauritius. Especially during morning (7am - 10am) and evening peak hours (4pm - 6pm) there is very heavy traffic at the royal road (A3) from Black River over La Preneuse and Tamarin towards Cascavelle and the opposite way round. More than 3000 vehicles per hour during rush hours.

Avenue des Jacarandas

Due to several reasons there has been a tremendous growth of traffic on the Avenue des Jacarandas the last few years. Firstly lots of new houses and apartments have been completed in this area. Every new property is a living and working place (gardeners, house keepers, maintenance staff driving in and out, etc.). Many are commuting, children are in 99% of the cases driven by cars to school. Deliveries, construction sites related traffic are completing the cacophony.

Secondly more and more people are using the Avenue des Jacarandas as shortcut for the congested A3 and are often driving with very high speeds (> 80km/h) or simply irresponsible speeds (> 100km/h) through the Avenue. Especially in the typical busy hours, but often also during the day, the Avenue des Jacarandas is very busy. Around 1200 vehicles per hour during rush hours.

In close proximity to busy roads there are hazardous levels of pollution (ca. 50m) and in proximity there are significantly elevated levels (ca. 50-200m). Hazardous levels of pollution close to busy roads create severe health problems including deadly patterns such as cardiovascular mortality. All what we can recommend you here is to avoid these areas.

Hot spots with dogs, partying and construction sites in Tamarin and Black River

Dogs are very common in Tamarin. Some property owners keep dogs because they like them, but most owners because of security reasons fueled by fears. Most of the latter group keep dogs outside day and night, whether they are at home or not. Many of these dogs never see the world outside their property. As a consequence the only thing these dogs “have to do” is to protect the property. The result is crazy barking every time someone passes the property by walk, bicycle, motorcycle or even by car. In many corners there is also a competition between a number of dogs accumulated within short distance. If one dog starts to bark, all the others will follow. At these spots you often also have barking and "crying" dogs at night! If you have the bad luck to live in such a corner, that can create severe noise emissions during the day and sleepless nights. All we can recommend you here, is to examine the situation well, before you make a decision for a property.

The partying problem is not so important in Tamarin. There are party emissions around some bars and especially around the club Big Willy’s. Furthermore certainly along some hot spots at the beaches, where both locals and tourists meet at night to party. Often they make a fire and party still dawn. If you have the bad luck to have such a spontaneous party right in front of your beach front property that can certainly be disturbing at times.

There are tremendous amounts of constructions sites in Tamarin and Black River. Some people talk about an overheated market, others about the sale out of the country. Noteworthy is the huge planned construction site at the Tamarin salt fields between the A3 and the Avenue des Jacarandas In principle, a construction site very close to your property creates tremendous amounts of noise and emissions. Often such construction sites are unpredictable. Some might continuously work, others might work for some weeks and then stop for some months, some respect reasonable working hours during the day and week. Others, more private organised construction sites, might work a lot during evening and week-end hours. If you have a construction site just beside you, it is simply very bad luck. All what you can do to minimise the risk, is to analyse the area where you rent or buy a property. Are there free spaces around that property? Maybe some of them even marked for sale? Are there large projects planned in the area?

Conclusions

Buying a property you should avoid objects close to the beach (built in set back zones), because with climate change, the rising sea level, erosion and inundation, these properties will loose their value over time. Buying and renting properties you should avoid objects close to the A3 main road and the Avenue of Jacarandas, because there is heavy traffic and pollution (health risk). Buying and renting properties you should have a close look at existing, planned and potential construction sites and carefully investigate the neighborhood for barking dogs.

Further Reading:

  • United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Alliance Development Works: World Risk Report 2016, Berlin/Bonn, 2017
  • United Nations Environment: The Emissions Gap Report 2017: A UN Environment Synthesis Report, Nairobi, November 2017
  • The Republic Of Mauritius, Ministry Of Environment, Sustainable Development, And Disaster And Beach Management: Guideline For Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (Coastal Setback), Port Louis, March 2016
  • Roshan T Ramessur, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius: A Review of Coastal Zone Management Facing Climate Change and Natural Disasters in Mauritius, Port Louis, 2013
  • Sally Brown, Abiy S. Kebede and Robert J. Nicholls, School of Civil Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton: Sea-Level Rise and Impacts in Africa, 2000 to 2100, Southampton, 2011
  • Dr Peter Kouwenhoven, Indian Ocean Commission, Assessing The Costs Of Coastal Inundation for Baie Du Tombeau, Port Louis, Mauritius, February 2014
  • Presentation @ NAP Workshop, Madagascar, 7-11 September 2015: Mauritius National Adaptation Plan, Madagascar, September 2015
  • Republic of Mauritius, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Statistics Mauritius, Digest Of Road Transport And Road Accident Statistics 2016, Port Louis, November 2017
  • World Health Organisation (WHO): Review of evidence on health aspects of air pollution – REVIHAAP Project, C. Proximity to roads, NO 2, other air pollutants and their mixtures, Copenhagen, 2013
  • Caderassen DORSAMY, Chansraj PUCHOOA, Road Development Authority: Alleviating Traffic Congestion Along The M1 Corridor: An Economic Perspective, October 2013
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