By Peter Stevenson
THE LARNACA and Oroklini coastline needs to have 14 new wave-breakers to put a halt to coastal erosion, according to the marine branch of the Public Works Department (PWD).
The problem has become more noticeable during the past two or three years and the PWD estimates that one metre of coastline is lost every year to erosion, according to research carried out in cooperation with the Metsovio Polytechnic University in Greece.
Giorgos Hadjisavvas from the PWD told the Cyprus Mail that five wave-breakers are required along Larnaca municipality’s coastline and seven more in the Oroklini area with another two to be rebuilt further out into the sea.
The cost of the project will be about €8m to €9m, Hadjisavvas said.
“The project would see revetment works being carried near the oil and petrol installations in Larnaca and wave-breakers built on either side; seven in the direction of Dhekelia and five in the direction of Larnaca port,” he said.
Rock revetment is a form of coastal defence achieved by placing the rocks inland so that the land may be protected against powerful waves.
“Factors change every year depending on winds and wave strength and we take measures to try to stop coastal erosion, but this project would mean the area would have a permanent solution,” Hadjisavvas said.
Different methods are used for different stretches of sea, the official explained, from revetment to wave-breakers.
“The work carried out is purely for environmental reasons, to protect our beaches from being eroded and not to create new beaches for the public to visit,” he said.
Local authorities are unable to fund the project due to the current financial crisis and the only solution, according to the PWD, is to receive help from the EU Structural Funds programme for 2014-2020.
“The burden should not fall solely on the government and we are hoping that local authorities and the EU will help co-fund the programme,” he said.
Last Tuesday, Larnaca Municipality was due to meet with Communications and Works Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos during which the wave-breaker issue had been on the agenda. Due to the funeral of the late president Glafcos Clerides, the meeting was postponed.
Other issues to be discussed at the meeting are the third and fourth phases of the Larnaca to Dhekelia road, the liberalisation of flights from nearby destinations, such as Lebanon and Israel, and a review to see stage the Larnaca marina and port development has reached.