Aftermath of disaster caused by tropical depression Felleng-Some SR2.9m spent on urgent restoration work


18-March-2013

Flooded roads

The government of Seychelles declared a state of emergency and set up a National Emergency Task Force under the leadership of Designated Minister Vincent Meriton. Several ministries and departments, including Environment & Energy and Land Use & Habitat, Community Development, as well as the Seychelles Land Transport Agency, National Met Services and other related agencies took a leading role during and after the bad weather.

A command centre was established at DRDM (Department of Risk and Disaster Management) under the leadership of Professor Rolph Payet.
A number of issues were dealt with by different ministries, agencies and organisations. A taskforce was set up with the aim of taking several remedial measures to mitigate, alleviate the flooding situations; visits were undertaken during and after the flooding, in all the three affected districts on Mahé and on La Digue.

One of the houses flooded by heavy rainfall

On Mahé, based on field observation and studies carried out, the Coastal Adaptation and Management Section of the Ministry of Environment & Energy engaged in several emergency operations to drain the flood water and to keep the outlets open. The section mobilised its regions’ contractors to keep all the outlets free and be available whenever the command center received calls to attend to people who were in distress.

In areas which were highly affected like Au Cap, emergency works were carried out around nine sites. Places like Mandarine Estate, marsh channel at Montagne Posée, Green Estate Judasama Farm, from Reef Estate to Reef Golf Course, were some of the main sites where wetland and river channels were de-silted and banks strengthened to prevent flooding and to increase their water holding capacity.

A wetland channel after de-silting and restoration

Similarly, in Anse Aux Pins -- the most affected district by the flood -- nearly fifteen sites have been taken care of by the section. At these sites, some of the work carried out by the section was removal of silt and debris, strengthening of river banks, opening of culverts and drains, removal of overgrown vegetation and in some places reducing the thickets of mangroves affecting or blocking the water flow. Places like Onezime Estate marsh area, Karyol river, Grand Basin river, Chetty Flats, Ramou housing estates, Sweet Escott channels, Green Estate and Kan Poul are some major areas actioned by the section.

River flows behind Chetty Flats being strengthened by rock armouring

Pointe Larue the district which experienced the worst scenario of road structures and flooding of drains and schools, was also treated as an emergency. The Pointe Larue secondary school experienced its worst flooding since its opening and actions were taken to reduce the accumulation of water there.  The marsh behind the school was de-silted, pockets of islets of silt and overgrown vegetation were removed, side drains cleaned and de-silted to ease water flow. At the mangrove areas next to the district administration overgrown vegetations were cut and carted away, silt removed and sides of the channel strengthened.

Most of the drains at the Seychelles Defence Academy, located at the tail end of the runway, were  silted and blocked and contractors were brought in to clear the silt and debris and to free the flow of water during and after the heavy rainfall.

Marsh channel at Onezime Estate site being de-silted and vegetation cleared

All these activities were carried out within a week of the disaster and nearly all of them have been completed satisfactorily. The National Disaster Task Force has released the fund to pay for the expenditure incurred to carry out work. The expenses were as follows: for Anse Aux Pin a sum of SR1,314,500, Au Cap (SR1,260,490) and for Point Larue a sum of SR301,000 have been spent by the government to deal with the situation.  

Altogether a total sum of nearly SR2.9 million has been spent on these emergency mitigation works and many areas have also been identified for further actions.

Contributed by the Ministry of Environment & Energy

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