Asbestos to be removed from Ile Perseverance houses in four months’ time


The delegation touring the site yesterday to assess the work’s progress

So far, five houses have been stripped of the materials containing asbestos, and these same materials are being buried underground.

A delegation of top officials from the Ministry of Land Use and Habitat, and the Ministry of Health visited the site yesterday morning to see the progress of work on the project, although detailed reports are sent to the departments of health and environment daily.

Workers clad in protective clothing, including breathing masks, were busy stripping down the boards, while others were packing them in heavy plastic sheets to be transported to the burial site.

Special industrial vacuum cleaners had been placed in the rooms being stripped to remove dust and monitoring equipment are being used to test air samples which are taken on a weekly basis and five times per month.
Out of the 148 houses there, 130 had already been fitted with the boards which will be stripped down and the materials replaced with cement boards without asbestos.

At the burial site, the tainted materials are being buried five feet underground. Materials are placed two feet high in the holes and a layer of earth of three fit high is laid to make it level with the surface.

Land Use and Habitat principal secretary Yves Choppy advised people who live in asbestos houses in Seychelles to get in touch with the authorities so that they can get help to assess the situation and get the necessary support to remove it if necessary.

A report done by two Australian experts and given to the government earlier this year had shown that the Ile Perseverance houses contained chrysotile asbestos in certain portions of the site, houses and the soil. The experts also gave their recommendations on how to render the site safe – recommendations based on Australian standards.

The experts trained the supervisors of the contractors at the site on removal methods, how the workers should protect themselves. Similar training was given to representatives from the departments of environment and health who also monitor work on the site regularly.