Press release


February 1, 2013

President James Michel has visited la Digue today in the plateau areas which were flooded during the heavy rainfall of this week. Mr. Michel visited families whose homes are still surrounded by water as well as viewing the roads and areas which are a source of concern for the residents.

“I sympathise with the families who were affected by the heavy rainfall. The main areas of damage are in the low-lying areas where the drains were either blocked with waste or the drains were not nearby. We will work to mitigate these dangers in the future. La Digue needs a lot of engineering work for drainage in order to avoid such situations in the future,” said the President.

The President noted that the homes built on the plateau on la Digue are built higher than on Mahe, and were therefore not affected by flooding inside the houses.

“While the homes were not affected inside, the danger lies in the still water that has accumulated on the plateau, which attracts mosquitoes and is also a health hazard. This needs to be pumped out, and cleared. The Environmental Health division in the Ministry of Health needs to monitor the situation, as well as assessing the level of contamination from sewage spills from individual septic tanks to avoid the risk of infections.”

The President called on the people of La Digue to do more to clean up their environment, and remove waste that has been dumped by the road side and in their neighbourhoods, as this impacts on the health of the people on the island when rain falls, as it accumulates water and attracts mosquitoes. The President also instructed the Ministry of Environment and Energy to start a clean-up campaign for La Digue.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy together with the Ministry of Land Use and Housing will be assessing the drainage system on La Digue in the coming days, and also an automated pump will be placed on the island to help with future heavy rainfall situations, as the accumulation of water in plateau areas is expected during the rainy season.

The President also visited La Digue Hospital to see the renovations that have taken place there in recent months, as well as the erosion which is affecting the nearby coastline.

Editor’s Note
•       The President was accompanied by the Minister for Community Development, Social Affairs and Sport, Vincent Meriton, the Minister for Environment and Energy Professor Rolph Payet, the Minister for Land Use and Housing, Christian Lionnet, the Secretary General of the Office of the President, Lise Bastienne, the Member of the National Assembly for the Inner Islands, Chantal Ghislain, Special Adviser for Community Development, Dan Frichot and the District Administrator for La Digue, Barbara Barallon.