The Minister for Land Use and Housing Christian Lionnet conducted a tour in the southern districts of Mahé to inspect the progress of certain key projects that have direct impacts on the communities.
The minister was accompanied by the principal secretary for land use & housing Joseph François, the principal secretary for policy planning and implementation in the Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH) Yves Choppy and their technical team, chief executive of the Property Management Company (PMC) Jules Baker, the respective contractors working on the project and respective district authorities where the projects are based.
The first visit was at the Remise housing estate located in Anse Royale, where the minister inspected re-roofing work in progress.
This visit follows one done by Vice-President Danny Faure early this year.
PS Choppy said they had awarded a contract for re-roofing seven blocks to remove the concrete tiles and put new roofs at a cost of R2.3 million.
“We’ve completed one block so far and we expect the rest of the work to be completed by October this year,” he said.
He also said that water tanks located on top of the housing units are being moved to a common area so that in case it overflows, it does not affect the residents living in the units.
As for the estate’s sewage problem, they are in the process of preparing tender documents for a sewage plant to be built by next year.
While visiting the Ex-Desaubin housing project in Takamaka, where the foundation stone was laid last July, the minister said the project is well underway and moving smoothly as the first phase of the project is expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2017.
According to the director of contract Keith Arnephy, this regional project will greatly improve the living environment of many inhabitants of the Takamaka, Anse Royale and Baie Lazare districts who waiting for a house and this has been made possible through the friendship between the government of Seychelles and Abu Dhabi.
This project, which will cost R32 million, comprises 40 residential units, 28 with three bedrooms and 12 with two bedrooms.
This visit was followed by another at the St Ange Estate located in the same district, where three emergency houses have been built to allocate some residents currently located at the Ex-Desaubin site.
“We will be relocating these people to these houses temporarily and as soon as the main housing project is completed they will be moved back and these houses here will remain for the government to accommodate families in need of housing assistance,” said Mr Arnephy.
The minister then went to the neighbouring district Baie Lazare at the Gondwana Housing Estate (Dan Fatak) where a new sewage treatment plant has been built.
Mr Baker said for this year PMC plans to undertake major renovations, re-roofing and paintings on all housing estates.
“Gondwana Housing Estate is no exception, we’ve established a project which will be done in phases…our principal plan for this estate is repainting and there are eight block of flats which make up 70 units and we foresee to paint three blocks – A, B and F. The first phase is expected to start by the end of next week and the second phase by the end of this year,” he said.
Mr Baker also highlighted the backflow problem within the sewage system faced by the estate.
“Last month PMC completed a major project which cost R1.2 million to bypass the pipes,” he said.
He also reassured the public that upon completion of the projects, they will be living in a clean, comfortable and healthy environment.
A visit to land bank proposals at Dame Le Roi and Ex Hunt, Baie Lazare was also held as it is part of the government’s programme to reduce the list of applicants and allocate land to applicants of Baie Lazare and the region.
PS Francoise said the various land banks being proposed in Baie Lazare already have existing road access which reduces the cost of infrastructure on the government. He said 45 plots of land can be earmarked from it so far.
“After many years that we have not implemented big land bank projects, the ministry felt that the list for land bank requests has gradually increased and Baie Lazare is not an exception among other districts therefore we decided to intensify our efforts to make residential land available for the inhabitants,” he said.
At Ex Hunt, Baie Lazare a housing project is being reviewed for an additional 24 housing units – 12 with 3 bedrooms and the other half with 2 bedrooms. Work on this is to begin in the first quarter of next year.