Estimated cost of Dec. 7 disasters on housing is $7.5 to $15m, says Seychelles’ President 

Some areas still pose a danger and in those cases, families will be housed elsewhere. (Seychelles Nation)

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(Seychelles News Agency) – The reconstruction of houses damaged on December 7 in an explosion at the Providence Industrial Estate and those damaged by landslides after heavy rainfall on the same day will amount to SCR100 million ($7.5 million) to SCR200 million ($15 million), Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan said on Thursday.

Ramkalwan made the statement in a live press conference with media houses a week after the two disasters that affected the northern and the eastern side of Mahe, the main island.

Seychelles suffered two major blows on December 7. Heavy rainfall caused severe damage to roads, flooding, and landslides, with damage to several properties and three people died.

The same day, an explosion of four containers of explosives at a quarrying company in the Providence Industrial estate caused massive damage to residential homes and commercial buildings, along the east coast of the main island of Mahe.

The President said, “430 houses have been visited and there are possibly more. The number of residents we estimate has been affected is around 1,400 and 43 houses are severely damaged, 118 less severe, and 269 needed minor repair.”

He said that the government gave its engagement that it will repair the houses so that the victims can go back to their homes.

For those that will need to be demolished, the government has put aside SCR1 million ($75,000) per house for people who will have to rebuild their houses. 

Ramkalawan said that given the safety of some families, some areas still pose a danger and in those cases, families will be housed elsewhere. 

Additionally, the government will give each home affected by the two disasters SCR 25,000 ($1,800) as a one-off to buy their essentials and payment will be made by next week.

Ramkalawan said that two friendly countries offered their assistance and that is Mauritius with a donation of $50,000 and Rwanda with $3 million.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent a delegation to Seychelles led by someone in charge of charitable actions to see the damages for themselves.

Ramkalawan also announced that the United Kingdom has given Seychelles assistance in the investigation of the explosion.

“There is an expert already in the country working closely with the police. We are also looking for people who will be able to make the analysis afterward,” he added. 

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