Seychelles gets EU funds to prevent spread of mosquito borne diseases
Flooding in low-lying area on La Digue in January 2014 (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The EU is contributing to efforts to eliminate the breeding grounds of mosquitoes and prevent mosquito borne diseases on the three most populated islands of the Seychelles affected by recent heavy rains.
In a press statement, the European Commission said it has allocated $38 thousand to help relief efforts following heavy rains in January that affected the main island of Mahé and the second and third most populated islands of Praslin and La Digue.
The lives of some 900 families totalling 4,400 people were affected by flooding and landslides caused by the torrential rainfall.
"The money will be used for hygiene/environmental promotion activities, spraying larvacides, distribution of mosquito repellents and pumping out stagnant water. The support is channelled through the Seychelles Red Cross Society (...)," said the European Commission in its statement.
The financial aid is possible thanks to an agreement the European Commission has signed with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund.
The $4.1 million agreement is dedicated to small scale disasters like the January flooding and landslides in Seychelles that would not necessitate an appeal for international aid.
Stagnant water left about by heavy rain can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry diseases such as dengue and chikungunya.
Following similar torrential rains which affected the islands of Praslin and La Digue and three eastern districts on the main island of Mahé in January 2013 around 76 suspected dengue fever cases were reported within a month, according to statistics from the Seychelles Ministry of Health. In 2014, there are no cases of dengue fever reported to date.