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Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency

Landfill still burning, but fire under control

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The fire at the Providence landfill enters its fourth day, however firefighters have got the situation under control.

This was said by information officer of the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency, Jones Madeleine, in a press interview yesterday.

According to Mr Madeleine, the fire has been put under control but depending on the direction of the wind, the smoke will continue to be an issue.

The fire has been raging since Saturday evening when the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA) got a phone call around 7.27pm.

“The initial call said that there was a fire in a shop and we mobilised our team to Petit Paris but it was when we were heading back that we saw that the fire was actually on the landfill,” explained Mr Madeleine.

“Even with reinforcement teams, the SFRSA found itself difficult to contain the fire to landfill 1 and put it under control due to various challenges including insufficient equipment which is why it eventually spread to landfill 2,” added Mr Madeleine.

He noted that they have created a buffer so that the fire does not spread to properties surrounding the landfill, adding that the only threat for the moment is the smoke.

Mr Madeleine continued by adding that even though they have followed training, this is not what firefighters are used to and some of them are working longer than their usual schedule with only a short time to sleep.

One of the biggest challenges Mr Madeleine noted is the number of buildings close to the landfill, thus making it hard to create a proper buffer zone.

On his part, Daniel Cetoupe, the senior disaster management officer of the department of risk and disaster management (DRDM), said the organisation has mobilised all resources and is making use of all assistance possible to put the fire under control.

“With the fire subsided we still have to deal with the adverse effects of the smoke clouds covering some parts of the country. Yesterday we took the decision to close the Providence Industrial Estate zone 20 but this morning (Monday morning) due to the wind blowing the smoke in a different direction, we had to close zone 18,” said Mr Cetoupe.

He added that a team is currently monitoring the situation outside of the landfill so they can make an official decision on what will happen to schools, businesses, and residents if the smoke intensifies.

Mr Cetoupe also noted that members of the public need to be more dynamic and take their responsibility when it comes to evacuating and going somewhere else, adding that DRDM is here to offer advice if they wish.

“As for schools, it is important that if they see that students can’t stay on school premises due to smoke they need to follow the procedure they have in place and release students. As for the elderly, the local government department will deal with them and decide if they need to move,” he said.

He added that they have re-strategised and gained additional support in terms of equipment and manpower.

 The Red Cross Society of Seychelles (RCSS) has also been on the scene lending a helping hand

“Anyone who is experiencing respiratory issues should report to the hospital, which has a fast-track system in place at the moment.

Apart from SFRSA and DRDM, the Red Cross Society of Seychelles (RCSS) has also been on the scene lending a helping hand.

“We have been stationed at Providence since Saturday and we have been providing First Aid assistance, masks, ambulance services and psychosocial support,” said Marie-May Bastienne, RCSS secretary general.

She added that the RCSS has been involved in advising DRDM health-wise especially with regards to the fume and residents in the areas.

“Our volunteers have been doing spot check to see if the fumes are moving closer to town since this morning (Monday morning) the fumes had intensified, thus affecting schools in the area so we advised DRDM to get students and teachers at Plaisance primary and secondary schools and the School for the Exceptional Child to get back home,” she said.

Ms Bastienne added that they were well briefed by the fire department before they were brought onto the scene to help.

“This is a first for us and it is amazing that we are able to work with the officers who are on the scene,” she added.

In the afternoon, Vijay Construction used its mini dredger to pump sea water to help extinguish the fire which reignited in different parts of the landfill.

Seychelles NATION also spoke to Doctor Gilbert Pierre, consultant in charge of accident and emergency at the Casualty, who noted that since yesterday morning more than 30 people reported to the Les Mamelles and English River health centres, as well as the Casualty unit at the Seychelles Hospital for treatment.

“They presented with minor respiratory issues, half of them were asthmatic and after receiving treatment they were sent home,” said Dr Pierre.

He continued by saying that people living in the vicinity of the Providence landfill should use a filter face mask when going outside.


Christophe Zialor


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Seychelles Fire & Rescue Services Agency
New Port Road, New Port,
Victoria, Mahe

(248) 4 28 99 99
(248) 4 28 99 50

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