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United Seychelles party holds protest over aftermath of CCCL explosion

Victoria, Seychelles | January 20, 2024, Saturday @ 17:50 in National » GENERAL | By: Alisa Uzice Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4099
United Seychelles party holds protest over aftermath of CCCL explosion

US party protest at Cascade (Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Members of United Seychelles (US), the main opposition political party, held a protest on Saturday near the Cascade District Administration office on the main Mahe Island to show their dissatisfaction with the way that the government is handling the aftermath of the CCCL explosion disaster.

The incident occurred during the early hours of December 7, 2023, where four containers of explosives of the CCCL quarrying company exploded, damaging the homes of many of the residents that live nearby as well the majority of businesses of the Providence Industrial Estate.

Most of the protesters today were decked in red, the opposite party’s colours, and holding signs.

United Seychelles party leader, Dr Patrick Herminie, addressed the crowd, saying this protest was necessary to show support to the people of Petit Paris and Cascade, who he claimed are facing a lot of difficulties.

Dr Patrick Herminie addressing the protesters (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

“We are asking the government to take responsibility for what happened on December 7. No matter the cause of the explosion, it is the responsibility of the government and the police to ensure that the people are safe, therefore, they must be held accountable,” he said.

Herminie further questioned the decisions taken by the government and emphasised the need for an independent commission of inquiry.

“The police cannot investigate itself. There are too many mysteries and confusion surrounding this. Six weeks later and we still don’t have a preliminary report…Today, there are still people in shelters and for many, their houses still have not been repaired, and those that have been repaired are not to the standard that they were before the incident,” he said.

SNA spoke to a few people at the protest, and most of them said that they were there to support those who were not being helped. There were also some people who were affected by the explosion amongst the crowd.

Protesters ask for more support (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Vicky Bastienne says that “My TV was damaged in the explosion. They asked me for a receipt of purchase but I’ve moved several times so I don’t have it anymore. They wouldn’t help me, even though I came forward to ask for help. So today I’m here to see what the opposition party has to say.”

Celine Emile described major damage to her house and her daughter’s house. She says that even though she received the 25,000 SCR ($1,840) assistance it is not enough for the repairs that need to be done to her house.

“The roofing alone was estimated to cost around 200,000SCR ($14,700). We had to buy glass on credit to replace the doors and windows. My daughter built her house next to mine, she has her own family, and they refused to help her with the assistance, even though she’s a separate household,” said Emile.

The government has assisted those with damaged houses with 25,000 SCR of aid, while 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.

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Tags: United Seychelles, protest

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