The Select Committee of the National Assembly with special mandate to look into the issues of islands has held its first visit to the outer islands.
Last Saturday members of the committee visited Farquhar, the southernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago.
Members of the Select Committee who went on the working visit were Wavel Ramkalawan, who is the chairman of the committee, Charles De Commarmond, Bernard Georges, Sebastien Pillay, Clifford Andre and Chantal Ghislain. The deputy Speaker Nicholas Prea and LDS (Linyon Demokratik Seselwa) chief whip, Ahmed Afif also formed part of the delegation.
They were accompanied by consultants for the two leaders, Irine Fonseka and Jerry Morin.
The visit was facilitated by the Islands Development Company (IDC), which manages Farquhar along with thirteen other island groups.
The IDC delegation comprised its chairman Patrick Berlouis, chief executive Glenny Savy and board member Patrick Lablache.
As part of the visit, members of the committee saw the extent of the damage caused by the 350km/h cyclone Fantala, which devastated the island in April last year. Some who had been to Farquhar before were shocked to see the extent the disaster caused to the environment and infrastructure.
IDC showed members of the Select Committee the work being done on all buildings on Farquhar to make them cyclone proof. These include staff accommodation, guest house, the generator and desalination pants.
Members of the Select Committee also saw the extent of damage to the environment, as well as work that has been done so far to clear the fallen trees in preparation for replanting to start.
They also saw damage to the radar facility on Farquhar.
IDC also took members of the Select Committee by boat to Goelette and Ile du Sud for them to experience firsthand the importance to have some islands and areas declared as protected areas. These two islands are important bird breeding and roosting areas.
At the end of the visit members of the Select Committee expressed satisfaction with the way things went.
“The visit shows that the decision to set up the committee was a good one. It gives us, as members, another perspective of the islands. I just wished that in the past Seychellois were made aware of what was happening on the islands,” said Mr Ramkalawan.
“The islands should be accessible to Seychellois for leisure and investment. They must be preserved for future generations, while we also exploit them in order to create greater wealth for our population,” he concluded.
Accompanying the article are some photographs taken during the visit.
Seychelles Ranks as Least Corrupt in Africa
Seychelles has once again ranked as the least corrupt country in the sub-Saharan African region, maintaining its position for the fifth consecutive year, according to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released on Tuesday. The island nation attained a global ranking of 23rd, with a score of 70 points, the same as the previous year.
Denmark Tops the Index
Denmark outperformed Finland and took first place in the CPI with 90 points, while Finland and New Zealand tied for second and third place with 87 points each. The CPI report rates the perception of corruption in the public sector on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being highly corrupt and 100 being clean.
Seychelles Outperforms Major Western Democracies
Seychelles remained in 23rd place globally and outperformed major Western democracies such as the United States, which improved on its previous year’s ranking and climbed to 24th place with a score of 69 points.
Anti-Corruption Commission Celebrates Success
The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission of Seychelles (ACCS), May De Silva, celebrated the news in a press statement, expressing her delight that the island nation’s tireless efforts to root out corruption have been recognized. De Silva stated that the ACCS had made more arrests, charged more suspects, and submitted more cases to the AG’s office for consideration of charges than ever before. Despite this increase in anti-corruption activity, Seychelles was still perceived as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.
ACCS Vows to Continue Fight Against Corruption
De Silva also added that the ACCS will never be complacent in its fight against corruption in Seychelles and is focused on continuing to work towards eradicating this crime and creating a fairer society for all citizens. The ACCS will be hosting the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Heads annual meeting in May this year.
Two Major Cases Before the Supreme Court
The ACCS currently has two significant cases before the Supreme Court of Seychelles, including the ‘missing $50 million’ case, involving the removal of foreign aid from a government account in 2002, and the mismanagement of loans at the Seychelles Business Finance Agency (SBFA).
In conclusion, Seychelles’ commitment to fighting corruption has been recognized with its fifth consecutive year as the least corrupt country in the sub-Saharan African region and its global ranking of 23rd. The ACCS is dedicated to continuing its efforts to eradicate corruption and create a fairer society for all citizens.
Seychelles – Health Ministry Campaigning For A More Active And Healthier Seychelles
(Seychelles News Agency) – As Seychelles’ health authorities lead a campaign of ‘Bouze’ — meaning move with the aim of having a healthier nation — more locals and visitors are becoming engaged in outdoor physical activities.
The head of the promotional health unit in the Ministry of Health, George Madeleine, who is also leading the ‘Bouze’ campaign, said ministry officials have organized a lot of activities and this has pushed more people to take up exercise and living a healthier lifestyle.
The ministry is encouraging its own staff to take part in the campaign as they want to be a role model and Madeleine says it is no longer enough to just tell people to go and exercise.
Doing exercise in a group is seen as a great motivator. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
The measures being undertaken are to prevent or curtail obesity related diseases like diabetes in the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. A national survey on non-communicable diseases conducted between 2013 and 2014 showed that around three-quarters of the Seychelles’ population of 93,000 was overweight and 11 percent were already suffering from diabetes.
“We constantly need to ensure that we provide the right opportunity and environment for people to engage in outdoor physical activities. This applies to more fitness trails and safe pavement for runners,” said Madeleine.
Madeline added that the increase in the number of overweight people is alarming and the ministry is planning to collaborate with the National Sports Council (NSC) and the ministry of education to synchronize activities that will reduce the level of obesity.
Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) placed Seychelles as the African country with the highest prevalence of hypertension, local authorities said they have noticed a downward trend as a result of the various measures the ministry has undertaken.
Doctor Jude Gedeon, said that it is no secret that exercise is essential to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Audrey Sinon, who tries to cover 4 miles of walking along the road each day, told SNA that she believes exercising is good for one’s wellbeing.
“More often people wait for an injury or the inability to perform their daily activity to exercise and in certain cases, this does not really help them get to back to their original good shape,” Sinon said.
She added that exercise outside should be fun so that even under duress it will not seem so difficult.
“Get going until you find activities that make you happy as well as healthy. Choose your exercise using the same criteria you’d apply to choosing a date — that is, attractive to you and able to hold your interest for a long time,” she said.
Sinon said she has noticed a positive change in her body weight and plus it helps her to sleep well at night. She prefers exercising outside in the natural environment where there is pure oxygen.
Georgia Maria, 25, said that doing exercise outside in groups is a wonderful experience and acts as a source of motivation.
“I started on a daily outdoor exercise routine about two years ago and now I have noticed some incredible results,” Maria said.
Exercise outside should be fun so that even under duress it will not seem so difficult. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
“It helps to reduce stress and boost up my concentration span at work,” said Maria who also advises not to get frustrated if you don’t achieve the result you desire right away.
The public health commissioner, Jude Gedeon, said that it is no secret that exercise is essential to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.
Gedeon said that outside exercise provides more oxygen for aerobic respiration and it gives you the mental boost you need.
“Working out outside can help improve your immune function, help you sleep at night, increase endorphin production and exposure to early sun rise provides vitamin D3,” he told SNA.
Gedeon said that apart from boosting your mental status, exercise can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease like Type 2 diabetes and stroke.
– See more at: http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/6953/Campaign+for+a+healthier%2C+more+active+Seychelles+gaining+steam#sthash.2Fs5YiPA.dpuf
President Faure to lead Seychelles’ delegation at COP22 environmental meeting in Morocco
The President of Seychelles, Danny Faure, is travelling to Marrakesh, Morocco this weekend to join other world leaders at the UN’s 22nd Conference on Climate Change (COP22).
Faure will return to office on 19th November, State House said Friday.
It was during a visit to Seychelles in July this year that Morocco’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Salaheddine Mezouar presented an invitation for the island nation to attend the gathering.
Mezouar told journalists that Morocco believes Seychelles played an important role to ensure the successful outcome of the UN’s 21st Conference on Climate Change held in Paris last December.
During the Cop 21 meeting in France’s capital city, Paris, last December, the 195 participating countries adopted the first global agreement on climate change — a binding treaty that aims to limit global warming to below 2 ° C.
The COP22 meetings which kicked off on November 7 will end on November 18.
The Seychellois participants met ahead of the event — earlier in November — to discuss Seychelles’ climate change position vis-à-vis the conference. According to an article published in Seychelles Nation, it was also an opportunity for them to meet with stakeholders and hear any proposals they may wish to include in the Small Island Developing States agenda. According the Seychelles Nation article, Seychelles will have a 10-man delegation led by President Faure at the Morocco meeting.
Seychelles, a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean is also being represented among five youths from the region.
According to the Cop22 website, the meeting is expected to focus “on action items in order to achieve the priorities of The Paris Agreement, especially related to adaptation, transparency, technology transfer, mitigation, capacity building and loss and damages.”
Salaheddine Mezouar, President of COP22, has described the gathering as an “opportunity to make the voices of the most vulnerable countries to climate change heard, in particular African countries and island states. It is urgent to act on these issues linked to stability and security.”
The Paris Agreement is the first legally binding treaty aimed at combatting climate change. The agreement entered into force on November 4, when it had been ratified by at least 97 of the 197 parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The newly elected U.S. President, Donald Trump, has threatened to withdraw the United States from the treaty.
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