The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley, had a third consultative meeting with the stakeholders and community members from La Digue.
The meeting is subsequent to the ones that were conducted in February and April as part of the government’s strategy to establish the Vision 2032. During the first two meetings, the Diguois raised a number of issues, which they felt were pertinent to them and the development of their island.
When opening the meeting, Minister Dogley explained that the aim of the meeting was to provide the people of La Digue with an update on the issues raised in the first and second meetings he attended earlier this year on the island.
“The government has initiated this visioning exercise to establish a clear and coherent plan for the sustainable development of La Digue. Cognisant of the various challenges and shortfalls; the various government ministries and agencies have been working very hard to fix these issues within the minimum delay. For the more complicated matters the representatives of the various agencies will be presenting the various programs and plans they have developed for La Digue,” Said minister Dogley.
The minister was assisted by his colleague the Minister for Environment, Energy & Climate Change, Wallace Cosgrow, Principal Secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles port Authority(SPA), Egbert Moustache, Director General of the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA), Joachim Valmont and representatives from other departments and ministries, namely; Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Housing, Lands, Infrastructure and Land Transport.
Minister Dogley informed all present that his department towards the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019, as part of the process to review the current policy of the 5-rooms per each new establishment, would conduct a new carrying capacity study.
During the meeting, the Seychelles Ports Authority provided complimentary information concerning the developments of the new jetty. Mr. Moustache, Deputy Chief Executive of Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) stated that the new facilities would be operational in 2021 and will make provision for separate terminals for passengers and cargo. Mr. Moustache mentioned that in the meantime some ameliorations are ongoing to make the present facilities more conducive for travellers.
Captain Joachim Valmont from Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) updated the meeting about the efforts that are being made by his agency to finalise provision of buoys for the demarcating of areas by September 2018. He also informed as part of their safety and security measures the SMSA is currently revising the Control of Hire Craft Act and the Beach Control Act, the two acts will assist in providing regulations and guidelines pertaining to the practice of motorized water activities as well as establish demarcated areas.
Minister Dogley informed the meeting that his department has been working closely in collaboration with the ministry of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status to facilitate the growing markets for weddings on the Island. Minister Dogley informed that, as part of the measures taken, there would be an additional person employed on a part time basis to attend to weddings; this is to ease the wedding process.
The chairperson of L’Union Estate, Frank Hoareau also present at the meeting provided an update of the various projects ongoing; he informed that Ox- Carts are to be anticipated back on operations by end of the year or early 2019. He further informed that the organization has been in discussions with the Seychelles Heritage Foundation in regards to a museum and the restauration of the Hosen Family Vault.
In his intervention, the Minister for Environment, Energy & Climate Change, Wallace Cosgrow provided a few updates pertaining to the jurisdictions of his ministry. He responded to the query raised by the community in the first meeting that La Digue is considered a dirty Island. He informed that measures have been taken for daily cleaning of the roads and waste management.
Minister Cosgrow further informed that this year’s edition of Clean up the World would be launched on La Digue. He also informed that a joint exercise with the Public Health Authority
Responding to the questions raised about the security of visitors on trails. He informed that the cabinet has approved for Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) for maintenance of trails.
The department of health and environment provided updates as to the construction of a new hospital and a new school respectively. Facilities to be operational as of 2020, to help in the betterment of services on La Digue, for the community and visitors.
Minister Dogley concluded the meeting by thanking all those who have attended and participated in the meeting. He highlighted that the coordination of all government programs on La Digue will in the future probably fall under the regional local committee for the inner islands.