More than 100 households affected by the explosion on Mahe on December 7 have already received the SCR25,000 ($1,800) assistance offered by the government, said a top official on Wednesday.
In an exercise conducted by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs through the Agency for Social Protection (ASP), about 400 households have submitted applications to receive the SCR25,000 allocation.
The assistance was announced by Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan on December 14, a week after two disasters affected the northern and the eastern side of Mahe, the main island.
Seychelles suffered two major blows on December 7 when 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 eastern coast.
The principal secretary for Local Government and Community Affairs, Kevin Perine, told reporters that so far 250 applications have already been processed and are currently with the ASP.
“I am happy to say that some payments have been made before Christmas, and this week there will be one more to another batch of people. Currently, some people are calling and asking about the assistance, we want to assure them that the payment will be made but due diligence is necessary,” said Perine.
He added that the department is facing certain challenges, especially with some people’s bank accounts and this is mainly because some people’s bank details are incorrect and they have to call them back.
“We wanted to give everyone eligible the assistance before the end of the year, but this won’t be possible. However, we are doing our best to process all applications as fast as we can while complying with proper procedures,” said the principal secretary.
Perine said that out of the over 1,500 people who were helped in one way or another by the government following both calamities, about 400 were placed in shelters.
“Currently, there are only 220 people left in the shelters. The largest group, 49 people, is at the Berjaya (Beau Vallon) Hotel. The rest have returned to their homes or are being housed by their families and friends. So far about 19 families whose houses were severely damaged were allocated emergency housing in Perseverance, of which 13 have already moved in and the remaining six will move in next week.”
For those houses that will need to be demolished, the government has put aside SCR1 million ($75,000) per house for people to rebuild their houses.