New shelter handed over to Bel Ombre fishing community


Messrs Heeger and Tirant shake hands after unveiling the plaque to inaugurate the facility

A small ceremony was held on Wednesday afternoon, where a large number of people had gathered to view the fruits of their labour.

The project to build a shelter at the fishing quay had been a community project, and many residents of the district, including members of the Bel Ombre Fishermen’s Association, had voluntarily given their time and energy to work on the structure.

The Eden Island development company had donated the materials which came to about US $25,000.

Wednesday’s ceremony was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam, who is also Parti Lepep’s central committee member for the district; Minister for Investment, Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon; and other government officials. Also present were members of the Bel Ombre Fishermen Association, and Eden Island chief executive Craig Heeger.

The Bel Ombre member of the National Assembly Galen Bresson told Seychelles Nation that since the facility was completed, the fishing community has benefitted greatly, especially in being sheltered from the elements – mainly sun and rain – as they transferred their catch to dry land.

The new shelter has been heartily welcome by the Bel Ombre fishing community and other users

He also spoke of the need to have additional facilities at the quay so that artisanal fishing could be modernised, thus attracting more young people to the industry. Possible additional facilities would include storage for bait and fish.

He added that the fishermen have taken ownership of the project and have so far proved themselves in keeping the facility in the best condition.

Father Colin Underwood and Father Lebrun were present to bless the structure, and all present joined in prayer for the well-being of those who go out to sea to earn a living and feed the nation.

Mr Heeger pledged bags to the fishermen, so that they could dispose of any rubbish in a neat manner and so keep the area clean.

A plaque was unveiled by the chairman of the fishermen association Peter Tirant and Mr Heeger, after which all spent some time socialising and discussing the way forward in a more light-hearted manner.

A second phase to the project has been pledged by Eden Island, which will be the construction of a facility for children with jungle gyms and other play areas, all shaded, and also a place to have meetings and have a barbecue should they wish to.