The United Nations Disaster Assessment
and Coordination (UNDAC) team sent to the Seychelles by the Relief Coordination
Branch, DHA - Geneva has sent its first report.
I. CURRENT SITUATION
1. Emergency Relief: Immediate relief needs have been met. Assistance needs rest on recovery and mitigation of, and preparation for, future disasters.
2. Casualties: 2 deaths, 2 missing, 2 injured.
3. Health: Pollution from the overflow of septic tanks is widespread and makes most urgent the provision of new sewage system, now under consideration. No other public health issues had been identified at the time the UNDAC team report was written.
HOUSING. 14 houses destroyed, 107 houses damaged. All evacuees have returned home: Homeless have been rehoused. Damage estimated at SR 6 million (USD 1.7 million).
ROADS. Landslides blocked the roads on the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue: The busiest road in Mahé was severely damaged and will be closed until 3 September. However, further work will be needed to stabilise the roads for long term use; and this work needs to be completed before November when the next rainy season will begin. Cost of road works is estimated at SR 5 million (USD 1,4 million) for immediate repair, and SR 8 million (USD 2,3 million) for long term mitigation measures during the next 12 months.
OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE. Minor damage to water and power supplies. Runway of Praslin island is reported damaged with one third unusable.
AGRICULTURE. Seychelles had spent 4 years working towards self-sufficiency in vegetables and expected to succeed by year 2000. The disaster has pulled back this target by at least one year. 60% of the farms registered and monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources have been damaged by floods or landslides, including all flatlands on Mahé and 100 farms on Praslin. Many flooded farms lost all crops and will need to replant with no possible income for several months. Particular concern is expressed for young farmers, now suffering severe losses while expecting to maintain loan payments. Cost of damage estimated at SR 5 million (USD 1,3 million).
ENVIRONMENT. Extent of damages to reefs and coastal marshes is not yet ascertained but the vast amount of silt washed down could have an impact on coastal fisheries as well as on tourism.
II. DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Seychelles rarely experienced disasters and for that reason had not developed a comprehensive disaster management system. No disaster legislation or plan exists and no structure was established until the first reports of damage. This is an area in which assistance will be needed.
III. PRESENT ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS
- Assistance with the development of a national disaster management structure with a requirement for technical assistance, training and equipment.
- Material assistance for the agricultural sector including seeds and fertilisers.
- Assistance with the rehabilitation of the road system and mitigation against future damage. Future action may include provision of cement and assistance in the form of projects to develop more effective embankment stabilisation in steep and unstable terrain.
A third DHA sitrep will follow as further information becomes available.
IV. DHA DISASTER RESPONSE
1. At the request of the Government of the Republic of Seychelles, DHA - Geneva has dispatched a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team who has provided the above information.
2. DHA - Geneva is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions, to be used in the immediate relief phase, in coordination and consultation with the relevant organisations of the United Nations system. DHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilisation of the funds contributed.
3. Donors wishing to channel their contributions through DHA can transfer funds to DHA account No. CO - 590.160.1 at the Swiss Bank Corporation, Case Postale 2770, CH - 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference Seychelles Floods, DHA - Geneva.
4. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform DHA - Geneva, as indicated below, of relief missions, pledges or contributions and their corresponding values by item.
Telephone number: + 41 22 1234
In case of emergency only: + 41 22 917 2010
Desk Officer: Guillaume de Montravel, direct tel: + 41 22 917 1481
Contact for medias: Ms M. Moulin-Acevedo, direct tel:
+ 41 22 917 2856
Telex 41 42 42 dha ch
Fax: + 41 22 917 0023