The President of the Republic, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, together with Vice President Ahmed Afif, chaired a meeting yesterday at the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Training (SITE) auditorium focused on disaster management and preparedness following the fire at Landfill 2 in Providence this week.
The purpose of the meeting was primarily to discuss weaknesses, challenges and the way forward providing greater clarity and ensuring effective planning for future incidents at the national level.
In his opening remarks, President Ramkalawan thanked all stakeholders present for attending such an important meeting.
After observing him at the landfill fire incident site and through various communications, he expressed that he called for greater coordination and collaboration among partner agencies.
He urged all involved, including national emergency operating centers, command posts and other interested agencies, to develop a comprehensive manual with relevant strategies that promote a collaborative approach.
Regarding the lack of equipment, the President also informed the meeting that the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has donated a shipment of masks, canisters and fire hoses.
“First of all, I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to everyone who was at Landfill 2 during the incident; namely, Disaster Risk Management Division (DRMD), Red Cross, Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA), Seychelles Police, Vijay Construction (Pty) Limited, Ministers, Management Agency Landscaping and Waste Management (LWMA), Vijay Construction, Civil Construction Company Limited (CCCL) and many others.
I salute your courage, determination and commitment,” said the President.
He continued: “From my observation, I have noticed that there has been a lack of communication and coordination between the different agencies and Ministries.
There has also been a lack of coordination in getting the necessary equipment and resources on site.
In terms of this effect, I would like each of you to take a look at the existing framework, discuss the weaknesses, focus on an effective preparedness program that is well defined for everyone and ensures that there is this effective collaboration and communication throughout the whole process.
the incident reoccurs.
Not just at the landfill, but anywhere else where there is a chance of an incident happening.” For his part, the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Errol Fonseka, underlined the importance of said consultation, the need for a unifying command and why all networks must be aligned.
In addition, he highlighted the need for all those involved to have the necessary training that allows them to deal with incidents of this level.
“This is an important milestone in our effort to bring together our thinking and understanding of risk and disaster management preparedness.
This meeting demonstrates political commitment at the highest level.
The purpose of this meeting today is to clarify 'who is responsible for what?' In such a complex undertaking under a crisis scenario, such as disaster management, this is the moment for such a question.
In the face of a series of conflicting demands and pressures facing decision-makers at all levels, it is crucial in crisis management and for commanders to make quick decisions,” said Minister Fonseka.
The General Director of Risk and Disaster Management (DRMD), Mr. Robert Ernesta during his intervention explained the tactical requirement of the Bronze and Silver levels as well as his responsibilities.
There was also a presentation on the Operationalization of the National Integrated Emergency Management Plan (NIEMP).
The opening discussions focused on the Bronze and Silver level topics where participants from the different Ministries and agencies had the opportunity to present their challenges, proposals and the way forward.
Based on the deliberations, President Ramkalawan requested a report with the necessary follow-up actions and that before December 2022 there will be another meeting to review the status.
The president also requested a master plan for all landfills, including those on Praslin and La Digue.
He will also attend the autopsy meeting regarding the fire at Landfill Two. The Head of State also called on the Emergency Brigade and the volunteers to come forward and unite for such important causes where the necessary training will be provided.
Concluding, he said: “I feel everyone's commitment, concern and willingness to improve the current problem.
I appreciate the different issues presented, whether you are small or large agencies, you all have a role to play.
I wish to call on all organisations/agencies, you are all professionals, and all Ministers in your respective ministries, to reconsider the disaster element more seriously and how there can be better coordination.
How you can help other places, to encourage other agencies like SFRSA and DRMD.
Get involved with other agencies, know their standard operating procedures.
When training is necessary, act immediately.
I would like to emphasize that risk management is what will prevent a disaster from happening.
As a country and we are all responsible for their safety.” The meeting was attended by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ted Barbe, Ministers, the Attorney General, Mr. Frank Ally, representatives from the Disaster Risk Management Division (DRMD), the Seychelles Police Force (SPF), the Health Care Agency (HCA), Public Health Authority (PHA), Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA), Seychelles Port Authority (SPA), Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), Defense Forces Authority (SDF), Seychelles Meteorological Authority (SMA), Ministry of Government and Community Affairs (MLGCA), Land Waste Management Agency (LWMA), Seychelles Infrastructure Agency (SIA), Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority ( SMSA), Seychelles National Parks and Gardens Authority (SNPGA) and other supporting ministries and agencies.
President Wavel Ramkalawan has sent a congratulatory message to his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, on the 73rd Anniversary of the People's Republic of China.
In his message, President Wavel Ramkalawan stated: “On this auspicious occasion, the people of Seychelles join China in celebrating the success of the Chinese people.
I am confident that the Chinese people will continue to prosper under your able leadership as they overcome the challenges they face in their goal of national rejuvenation.
In recent years, under his strong leadership and with the hard work and determination of the Chinese people, the People's Republic of China has made tremendous progress in achieving its development goals and building an increasingly prosperous, equitable and harmonious”.
President Ramkalawan further added that Seychelles also pays tribute to China's solidarity with the developing world and its strong advocacy for world peace and stability, international cooperation and a just multilateral order based on international law and the Charter.
from the ONU.
“As we celebrate the 73rd Anniversary of the People's Republic of China, we also commemorate forty-six years of formal diplomatic relations between our two countries.
Four and a half decades later, Seychelles and China have strengthened their relations, which have become an exemplary and dynamic partnership in many sectors.
As a result, much has been achieved and much more can be achieved, if we continue to stand and support each other.
In this regard, I wish to reaffirm Seychelles' strong support for the One China policy, which is the only true path to the peaceful reunification of the motherland.
I also wish to assure you of our commitment to continue to engage with China in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation,” President Ramkalawan concluded.
President Wavel Ramkalawan today announced the appointment of Mr. Tony Imaduwa as the new Chief Secretary for Energy and Climate Change.
Mr. Imaduwa holds a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science from the University of London and has over 19 years of public service work experience.
Mr. Imaduwa began his career in public service in 2003 as a Prosthetist-Orthotist at the Rehabilitation Center.
In 2010 he joined the Seychelles Energy Commission as Principal Officer for Renewable Energy and Energy Management.
Mr. Imaduwa has since held various senior positions in the Commission.
Prior to his appointment as Principal Secretary, Mr. Imaduwa was Executive Director of the Seychelles Energy Commission, a position he has held since 2014.
Mr. Imaduwa's appointment is effective 1 October 2022.
The outgoing Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Republic of Seychelles, HE Mr. Khaled El Abyab, paid a farewell visit to President Wavel Ramkalawan at Government House yesterday morning, as his term comes to an end.
The President commended Ambassador Abyab for the valuable role he has played during his tenure in enhancing the relationship and bond of friendship between Seychelles and Egypt.
“Thank you for reaffirming the friendly relations between our two countries.
The Seychelles Government looks forward to working closely with its successor, in the same way, to further strengthen our bilateral ties for win-win cooperation in various fields such as trade and investment.
I wish him all the best in his next assignment,” said President Ramkalawan.
The meeting between the Head of State and Ambassador Abyab gave them the opportunity to further discuss the main areas of cooperation between the two countries, namely tourism, capacity building, trade and investment, as well as the environment.
They also talked about the upcoming Weather.
Change Conference 2022 (COP27), to be held in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, in November 2022.
In addition, Ambassador Abyab briefed President Ramkalawan on the three Seychellois citizens, who are currently serving life sentences in Egypt, for They have been transferred to a prison closer to Cairo which is more comfortable and will allow the Ambassador of Seychelles based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and their families to visit them.
Ambassador Abyab assured him that they are in good health and that the Egyptian government will do its best to respond whenever there is a request for a visit.
Speaking to the local press after the meeting, Ambassador Abyab described his achievements during his 4 years in office, which included the resumption of training courses being offered by the Egyptian development partnership agency and other institutions .
Also, in the tourism sector.
Also present at the farewell call at Government House were the Senior Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Vivianne Fock Tave, the Senior Counselor for Bilateral Affairs, Ms. Johnette Stephen, and the Third Secretary/Officer for Egypt, Mr. Davis Mathiot.
President Wavel Ramkalawan has sent a message of thanks to all the workers and first responders, including several private companies that, since yesterday, have been working tirelessly or in one way or another have been involved in fighting the landfill fire in Providence.
Following his late-night visit to the site, the President commended them for their courage and commitment.
The President will convene a special meeting on Saturday, October 1, with all relevant stakeholders for a comprehensive assessment of the country's state of preparedness for various incidents that may occur.
President Ramkalawan, on behalf of the country and on his personal behalf, also expressed his gratitude to the UAE government for the donation of high-powered pumps to the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA), which will be of great help with operations.
President Wavel Ramkalawan welcomed Business Development Bank President Mr. Admassu Tadesse for a courtesy call at Government House this morning.
President Ramkalawan warmly welcomed Mr. Tadasse to the Seychelles shores and expressed the country's willingness to continue working with the TDB as a long-standing partner in the country's economic development strategy.
“TDB has been a faithful partner to Seychelles and we look forward to deepening this partnership for the betterment of our people.
I wish you fruitful deliberations during your various engagements as we continue to strengthen cooperation on existing avenues and explore new ones,” said President Ramkalawan.
For his part, Mr. Tadasse expressed his gratitude to the Head of State for the warm welcome and conveyed the will of his institutions to continue to be a reliable and strong partner in the process of economic development of Seychelles.
Discussions focused on TDB's key financial interventions over the years to support the local economy, past and present, as well as future sectors of mutual interest.
Cooperation in domains such as the housing sector, the health sector, as well as tourism and real estate are key priority areas highlighted by the two partners.
Mr. Tadasse was accompanied at Government House by the Coverage Executive, Indian Ocean-Lusophone Africa, Mr. Daniel Lam Chun. Also present were the Minister of Finance, National Planning and Trade, Mr. Naadir Hassan, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, Ms. Caroline Abel.
The Interclub Organising Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has disqualified Volcan Club de Moroni from the ongoing 20222023 CAF Champions League.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the club from Comoros were disqualified after they failed to arrive and honour their Champions League first preliminary round fixture.
They were to play against hosts La Passe FC of Seychelles.
After the conclusion of the preliminary first round matches, their case was brought before the committee which went on to apply the competition’s Regulations, basing its decision on Article IX 10.5. The Article reads: “It is the duty of the visiting team to organise its travel arrangements in a way that permits it to arrive in the venue of the match at a reasonable time ahead of the scheduled date of the match.
”NAN reports that La Passe FC have now automatically progressed to the second preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.
On the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly of Heads of State and Government, President Ramkalawan, who is currently leading the Seychelles delegation in New York, also participated in several strategic side events for Seychelles.
Bilateral discussions have been crucial networking platforms and important discussions with key partners and Seychellois stakeholders.
The President participated as one of the panelists at the African Heads of Government Climate Finance Dialogue organized by Africa Investors (Ai) and the UN Special Adviser for Africa (OSAA).
At their invitation, President Ramkalawan was the keynote speaker at the panel discussion under the guided theme "Partnerships and opportunities to implement the investable NDCs, Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".
President Ramkalawan spoke together with three other African Heads of State; which included the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, HE Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and the President of the Republic of Gambia, HE Adama Barrow.
President Ramkalawan also attended Blue Leaders 30X30: Catalytic Action for a Global Network of Fully and Highly Protected Marine Areas and a Strong New High Seas Treaty event held at the Plaza Hotel in New York. The event, which was organized by the Government of Belgium and Nigeria, where President Ramkalawan was one of the Blue Leaders Heads of State who addressed the audience.
The Prime Minister of Curaçao, Gilmar Pisas, also made a presentation, while the Prime Minister of Belgium made a virtual video statement.
The main event was opened by the CEO of Blomberg Philanthropies, Patricia E.
Harris, and the panel discussions were moderated by the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium.
Following the Blue Leaders event, the President also held discussions with Mission Blue/The Sylvia Earle Alliance President and President, legendary oceanographer, Her Deepness Dr. Sylvia Earle.
Dr. Earle is an Explorer-in-Residence for the National Geographic Society, and is called Her Deepness by the New Yorker and the New York Times, a Living Legend of the Library of Congress, and Time magazine's first Hero for the Planet.
Familiar with Seychelles, the meeting with the Head of State was an opportunity for Dr. Earle to brief President Ramkalawan on her previous expeditions and work in Seychelles, as well as to engage in fruitful discussions on how Mission Blue can further support Seychelles.
Seychelles in its environmental conservation efforts.
She will soon be in Seychelles for a mission in Aldabra accompanying Prince Albert of Monaco.
In his capacity as Vice President of the SIDS DOCK Initiative, President Ramkalawan also delivered a virtual statement at the 7th session of the SIDS DOCK Assembly.
SIDS DOCK is an initiative among the member countries of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) created to help SIDS transform their energy sectors and address adaptation to climate change in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.
Other side meetings included discussions with the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Ms. Rabab Fatima.
While at the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York, the president also had the opportunity to engage with a number of world leaders during a closed-door, high-level meeting of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS), limited to Heads of State or Government focused on two main issues: objective discussion namely; progress towards the Adoption of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) at the UN and the Establishment of a Financing Agreement to Address Loss and Damage at COP27.
President Ramkalawan was assisted by Ambassador Ian Madeleine and other Foreign Ministry officials.
The President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, met yesterday afternoon with the Secretary General of the United Nations, HE Mr. Antonio Guterres.
During the discussions, the President reiterated his will that Seychelles continue to lead the democratic values in which the UN believes and that, as a country, Seychelles will continue to promote peace, unity and sustainable development for a prosperous planet and harmony among nations.
“Seychelles fundamentally believes in the United Nations and the principles rooted in the Charter of the United Nations.
For us, this multilateral institution remains an indispensable forum where the entire world can come together to deliberate on international development issues that concern us all, and where we all have a voice, regardless of our size or economic power.
This is especially important for Small Island Developing States like us,” said President Ramkalawan.
For his part, the UN Secretary General, HE Mr. Guterres, expressed his gratitude for the Seychelles.
He pointed out that the country is rich in marine biodiversity, which makes Seychelles an essential country that contributes to the global balance.
He said that this is a great contribution for humanity and for the world.
Other topics of discussion revolved around the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI), the Blue Economy and the oceans, climate change and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
On the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly, President Wavel Ramkalawan also held bilateral talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, HE Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan.
The meeting was held at the Seychelles Mission in New York. On behalf of Seychelles, President Ramkalawan conveyed sincere thanks to the UAE government for all the support provided to Seychelles so far and the country's willingness to further consolidate bilateral relations through new avenues of cooperation.
"Seychelles is willing to engage with the UAE in new fields of cooperation of mutual interest and we are incredibly grateful for the ever-growing ties of friendship and partnership that exist between our two governments," said President Ramkalawan.
The Minister of the United Arab Emirates, HE Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, for his part expressed the will of the Government of the United Arab Emirates to further enhance the partnership from country to country and, at the same time, extend its support to a nation exemplary island nation like Seychelles, which leads in key domains not only in Africa but on the global platform.
Sheikh Shakboot gave the good news and confirmed that the UAE will implement Phase Two of the Barbarons Housing project, which includes a new batch of 40 Units.
Other topics discussed included border control, Renewable Energy Projects for Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, the construction of the Early Childhood Care centre, the Drug Rehabilitation project and the ongoing St. Mary's hospital project.
The meeting in New York served as an important opportunity for the two leaders to review and agree on the way forward and expected timeline for previously agreed projects.