Seychelles churches will commit to reconstruction following floods

By Bellah Zulu
Posted Feb 7, 2013

[Anglican Communion News Service] A bishop in flood-stricken Seychelles has said the church in that country will be “actively involved in the reconstruction efforts” through “raising funds for building materials.”

The Rt. Rev. James Wong, bishop of the Diocese of Seychelles, told the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS): “The situation in Seychelles is very sad and challenging. We have so many problems already and the floods have just brought more physical and material difficulty.”

The Seychelles’ economy is mainly dependent on tourism, which is easily affected by such events.

Reports indicate that up to 350 families have been displaced or remain unsheltered as they wait for their homes to be rehabilitated due to heavy rains and high tides.

Experts are assessing the damage in order to establish the immediate needs of the people and the associated costs.

“Currently, it’s very difficult to quantify the damage,” said Wong. “I am waiting for a report from the government.

“Some people who have been displaced are staying at the Seychelles Police Academy. The government has asked guesthouses to open their doors and help accommodate stranded victims.”

The bishop is concerned that the education sector is usually one of the hardest hit during such disasters.

He explained, “Some schools closed for some time and those that are open are asking pupils to carry their own drinking water for fear of water pollution.”

Last week, Archbishop Ian Ernest, primate of the Indian Ocean and bishop of Mauritius, asked the Anglican Communion for prayers and financial support. He also wrote to supporters to raise awareness of the crisis.