Efforts being stepped up to maintain updated risk map


Environment and Energy Minister Rolph Payet gave these details during Question Time in the National Assembly on Tuesday. He was answering a question by the leader of the opposition in the Assembly David Pierre.

Mr Pierre had asked Minister Payet about his ministry’s plans to carry out a study aimed at developing a risk map for Seychelles.

Minister Payet informed the Assembly that after the 2004 tsunami, the government set up the Department of Risk and Disaster Management (DRDM) and from then on steps were taken to seek financial help from international partners to train geological technicians and build their capacity so that they could carry out a survey of risk areas here.

With the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2008, the DRDM in collaboration with the local government developed a risk area map for each district.

Minister Payet stressed that the map is not a final document with ongoing developments taking place in each district causing risk to shift from potential areas.

Minister Payet noted that a lot of work is also required and is taking place at national level to ensure that potential risk areas nationally are continuously updated and these include carrying out different surveys to identify these areas, an important  component necessary for better planning purposes. 

In a supplementary question, Mr Pierre asked Minister Payet if there is any mechanism in place to update the risk maps and if his ministry has in place a proper flood hazard data system and hazard mitigation plan for Seychelles. 

Minister Payet explained that Seychelles has come a long way in terms of building its capacity and resilience to face various forms of challenges and after the recent disasters the country has stepped up its effort to further strengthen its capacity and resources to mitigate the effects of disasters. 

“The country considers mitigating the effects of disasters as one of its vital commitment as the costs of disaster rehabilitation is extremely high,” Minister Payet stressed.

He noted that help was sought from different governments experienced in handling disasters, namely Japan and Cuba. Furthermore the DRDM is also building the capacity of its personnel, the GIS system is also being updated and measures and structures which are in place are also being continuously tested through exercises involving different ministries, agencies and other stakeholders and partners to further strengthen disaster mitigation measures.

Above all that Minister Payet said an exercise is ongoing to survey all housing estates and identify those in potential risk areas.
He said once the exercise is complete, a priority list will be drawn and the authorities will proceed to address them accordingly.

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