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Nature Seychelles seeks funding to fix damaged boardwalk of wetland sanctuary

Victoria, Seychelles | February 23, 2024, Friday @ 10:13 in Environment » CONSERVATION | By: Alisa Uzice Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 7209
Nature Seychelles seeks funding to fix damaged boardwalk of wetland sanctuary

The flood damaged most of the boardwalks available for visitors at the sanctuary. (Nature Seychelles) 

Photo license  Purchase photo

(Seychelles News Agency) - The wetland sanctuary of the Nature Seychelles located at Roche Caiman is in need of funds following an incident in December where the place was flooded due to heavy rains and high tides, said a top official.

The flood damaged most of the boardwalks available for visitors at the sanctuary and the chief executive of Nature Seychelles, Dr Nirmal Shah, said the area is closed to the public.  

Shah told SNA  said that although the non-profit organisation has asked the authorities for help, they still have a lack of resources and, therefore, need financial assistance.

"It is the first time this has ever happened because normally the sanctuary can absorb all the water and channel it to the sea, that was one of the objectives of maintaining this wetland sanctuary, but this time it was not possible. It filled up and it was submerged; the normally dry land as well as the boardwalk was under water for two to three weeks," Shah explained.

An aerial view of the boardwalk before flooding. (Nature Seychelles) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

He said that the Ministry of Environment had to help clear the channel so that they could get some of the water out.

"It's almost back to normal but the boardwalk is heavily damaged. It was very heavy rainfall in a short amount of time. When we designed this wetland, it wasn't designed for this kind of heavy rain. Also, after COVID, our finances collapsed so we did not have staff on the ground to be able to keep on opening the channel and so forth," added the CEO.  

He said that Nature Seychelles cannot afford to complete the repairs needed.

"At the moment we don't have the budget to repair the boardwalk and we've asked for corporate or individuals to come forward to help repair the boardwalk but unfortunately no one has come forward yet. So, it will remain closed until we are able to get money to repair all the fallen planks and all the foundation that has been undermined," said Shah.

He estimated the damage to be around SCR300,000 ($22,000).       

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, recorded over 1,000 millimetres of rainfall in December 2023. The usual average rainfall for December is around 400 millimetres. 

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