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Flood service and monitoring station to be set up in Seychelles

Seychelles will soon be benefiting with a flood service and flood monitoring station with access to the international charter on disaster through satellite data.

This was announced during a meeting held with stakeholders at the Division of Risk and Disaster Management (DRDM) yesterday.

Mesa (Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa) project manager Isaac Kusane and Mesa technical assistant thematic expert Birgitta Farrington have come to Seychelles to facilitate the implementation of the Mesa SADC –Thema project, and to interact with the national beneficiary institutions and other stakeholders.

Seychelles is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Mesa is a project coordinated by the African Union commissions and funded by the European Union.

The Mesa SADC flood service is primarily designed to assist the ministries and departments of water resources and disaster management offices mandated with flood monitoring and disaster management in SADC member states. In Seychelles the project will be hosted by DRDM.

The main aim of this service, which is new and is still under development, is to provide earth observation products for monitoring the status before, during and after a flood event. This will contribute to effective land use and disaster management planning and policy making and improve security for people in areas affected by floods.

This project is a follow-up initiative to the African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) programme which ended in 2013.

“This time around we are working on flood monitoring and we recon there is some useful information that Seychelles can benefit from,” said Mr Kusane.

“We would like also to work closely with the university to ensure that whatever legacy that this project would leave, some of the training that would be generated or some of the training with these materials that we have there would be a platform to exchange with universities and see how the university here in Seychelles can support operational departments like this in terms of development of human capital,” he added.

Vicky Berlouis, DRDM hydrologist, said: “This project will benefit Seychelles by providing capacity building; it helps people who are already working with flood management because it is a project that will concern them all.”

Regarding satellite, she explained that we receive direct images from the satellite that will bring us real time information. “During a time of a disaster we will have real time information and this will increase the time taken to react in the event of a disaster,” she said.

Ms Berlouis pointed out that training will be held in March next year for thematic experts when the product is finalised, like the one held in March this year to introduce the experts to this new product.

Those present at the meeting were from the Public Utilities Corporation (water section), Geographic Information Service (GIS) of the environment, Meteorological Services Station and other stakeholders.

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