by Andrei Neacsu, in Nairobi
The Seychelles experienced heavy rains and strong winds after a tropical depression passed over the country last week. Gusting winds of up to 75 knots and rainfall levels of 125 mm on the island of Praslin and 327 mm on the island of Mahé had a devastating impact on the country's infrastructure as well as homes, public buildings, agricutural land and livestock.
The Seychelles Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal for US$ 107,600 which will provide assistance to 2,250 of the most severely affected people.
Volunteers from the Praslin branch have come to the aid of the affected communities by conducting vulnerability assessments, providing first aid and ambulance services, transporting displaced families to safe havens and distributing food and emergency relief articles.
"The next few days will be crucial. Some families are still out in the open waiting for their homes to be repaired. We need to provide mattresses, blankets, cooking utensils and clothing, as well as food, seeds and plants to allow them to regrow the crops that were lost in the storm and on which the communities depend," said Chrystold Chetty, President of the Seychelles Red Cross.
Close to 10 per cent of the Seychelles' population of 75,000 was directly affected by the tropical depression and 375 families were forced to abandon their homes and seek refuge either with friends or relatives.
The Seychelles Red Cross are concentrating their efforts in Grand Anse, Anse Kerlan, Baie St Anne, Côte Dor and Mont Plaisir where some villages and settlements were literally submerged by water and many hectares of cultivated land were destroyed.
Although some roads have re-opened, local authorities consider that it will take up to a month before situation is completely re-established.