Chief Fire Officer of the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency, Tally Domingue, has said a fire station in north Mahé is still a priority for the agency given the many tourism establishments, the large population and the time it takes to beat the heavy traffic in Victoria during peak hours to reach the northern areas in case of a fire.
Ms Dominque was answering a question addressed to the Minister for Internal Affairs, Errol Fonseka, by the elected member of the National Assembly for Bel Ombre, Hon. Sandy Arissol, during yesterday’s session.
Mr Arissol wanted to know if the ministry has plans to build a fire and rescue service centre in the northern region of Mahé given the many tourism establishments and private households.
The other question to the minister was to explain whether any work has been done to identify areas to install fire hydrants in housing estates and in strategic areas in the districts.
Ms Domingue said plans to build a Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA) station is in the agency’s strategic plan 2012-2016 and R24 million was allocated under the capital project to build one at the regatta site, Beau Vallon in 2014.
She noted that the decision to build the station at the site was reversed and a new plot was allocated in Bel Ombre in 2020 but it was not an ideal spot to build a fire service station on.
She said the ideal place for the station remains at the Regatta site but it does not feature on the Beau Vallon development plan.
She said, for now, the SFRSA gives advice and training on how to prevent and combat fires to tourism establishments and other services in the region.
To add, Minister Fonseka said to build the station requires 2,500 square metres of land and with no bottle neck for two fire tenders.
He called on land owners who have such land available to come forward and to negotiate with government.
As answer to opposition leader Sebastien Pillay’s question regarding the SFRSA having a standby post in the region, chief fire officer Domingue said there was such a presence in the past at the Beau Vallon community centre but given the shortage of manpower, the service was discontinued and the agency focuses on fire prevention.
Speaking on the installation of fire hydrants at housing estates and in strategic areas in Bel Ombre, Ms Domingue said the SFRSA did an identification exercises on the district’s fire hydrants in November last year (2022) which included cleaning and testing all water source facilities.
She added that in total there are 15 fire hydrants in various strategic locations in the district from Beau Bel to Anse Major. She noted that identification exercise of fire hydrants is conducted twice a year in all districts and the next one for Bel Ombre will be done in June 2023.
She said the installation of fire hydrants at housing estates across the country is based on necessity from risk assessments made.
She added that the Property Management Corporation (PMC) has the responsibility to maintain fire hydrants at housing estates.