Survey in Seychelles finds some houses with no running water, electricity

Cases of extreme poverty and hardship have been identified in some households in a survey conducted in four central districts on the Seychelles' main island, Mahe.

The incidences of extreme poverty include poor housing conditions with no running water and electricity, overcrowding and no proper toilet facilities in some houses, unemployment and drug abuse.

That's according to a survey of 125 households in Plaisance, Les Mamelles, Roche Caiman and Mont Fleuri, the four districts with the highest percentage of poverty in the island nation. The poverty line is defined as SCR 3,945 (around $300) per adult per month.

Urgent action should be taken to relieve those affected families in their extreme conditions. This must be done in collaboration with government agencies," the secretary of state for the Department of Poverty Alleviation, Dick Esparon, told SNA.

Following the first phase of the survey, a rapid response programme has been set up.

Esparon said the programme will alleviate the impact of poverty through immediate short term intervention that will ensure that families have the basic requirements such as access to electricity, water, food and hygiene permitting a decent standard of living.

The secretary of state added that experts in social work, counseling, psychosocial support will work on a one to one basis with needy families and individuals, as part of a social coaching programme.

In the case of unemployment, the concerned ministry has already initiated an exercise to offer jobs to unemployed persons, starting in the Corgat Estate area, in the central district of Mont Fleuri, he said.

Esparon said the households will be reassessed in September to confirm their immediate needs and that, By mid-September, areas of needed support and assistance will have been identified.

The assessment will be carried out this weekend for over two weeks by a rapid assessment team made up of representatives from the Red Cross Society of Seychelles, the Public Health Authority, the Citizen's Engagement Platform of Seychelles and the Department of Habitat and Infrastructure.

After the first phase of this project, the Secretariat for Poverty Alleviation will review the evaluation and make further recommendations to the government as to the effectiveness of this strategy. Hence, information collected will result in a national anti-poverty strategy.

The second phase of the survey which will cover the whole of Seychelles by 2018 will be conducted in the south-eastern districts of the main island, namely Au Cap, Cascade, Anse Aux Pins, Anse Royale and Takamaka.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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