Assembly’s select committee undertakes second visit on outer islands | 16 March 2017
Members of the National Assembly’s select committee on islands have undertaken a second visit to the islands.
From Thursday to Saturday last week they visited Desroches, Poivre and Remire –islands managed by the Islands Development Company (IDC) – and also the private island of D’Arros.
They first visited Desroches, the main island of the Amirantes group. Members of the committee had the opportunity to see the ongoing construction of the 40-room hotel and 10 residential villas. Construction work is being done by IDC and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
They also saw the electricity production facility, desalination plant and sewerage treatment plant on the island.
Members of the committee also interacted with IDC staff to get an insight of the work they do, their conditions of employment, and what they think could be done to encourage more Seychellois youth to take up employment on the islands.
“Desroches is an island that has been well developed throughout the years in terms of tourism. The new development will surely be a big boost to IDC and the country’s economy,” said Wavel Ramkalawan, chairman of the committee.
On Poivre members were briefed on the proposed tourism development for the island. They also discussed with IDC about the potential to further develop agriculture there. Given its location, members were also informed of IDC’s plans to use Poivre as an aviation hub for the outer islands.
Remire was the last of three IDC islands that the select committee visited. They saw the facilities on the island as well as the former Presidential retreat used by France Albert Rene during his presidency.
Some of the issues raised with IDC were attracting more Seychellois to work on the islands, including the placement of post-secondary students on the islands as part of their training, and better salaries and conditions for workers.
The committee noted that there are accommodation for Seychellois to spend their holidays on Remire and Desroches. Members stressed on transparency and giving Seychellois maximum information.
The select committee on islands was set up in November last year, following a motion in the National Assembly to declare D’Arros and St Joseph as special reserves.
Therefore, during the visit to the Amirantes, members of the committee also went to the private island of D’Arros, where they held discussions with representatives of the island’s owner.
“D’Arros has a rich environment and its lagoon is one of the most beautiful in the Amirantes. The island is being well managed. However, it is not accessible to Seychellois. Its owner should allow local fishermen to come to the island to seek shelter from bad weather and in cases of emergency. It should also allow locals to visit the island – even on a limited scale,” remarked Mr Ramkalawan.
The committee comprises Wavel Ramkalawan as chairman, Charles de Commarmond, Bernard Georges, Sebastien Pillay, Stephen Pillay, Clifford Andre and Chantal Ghislain. They were accompanied by the deputy Speaker, Nicholas Prea, Ahmed Afif and Churchill Gill as well as secretarial staff of the committee, Jutta Alexis (also Clerk of the National Assembly) and Debra Esparon.
IDC was represented by its chairman, Patrick Berlouis; chief executive Glenny Savy; and board member Patrick Lablache.
The accompanying photographs show the Assembly and IDC delegations during their visits, as well as some infrastructure on the islands visited.