Districts urged to tap into regional and international funding sources for community projects

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Districts urged to tap into regional and international funding sources for community projects

Post  Sirop14 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:42 pm

Districts urged to tap into regional and international funding sources for community projects

24-July-2014
Districts are being encouraged to set up official community groups which would allow them to access regional and international funds which could help them carry out community projects such as coastal area protection.

“There are funds available which the government itself cannot access but the districts can. The funds, The Small Grants Fund of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), were negotiated by government and are available for community projects,” the Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet said in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Minister Payet gave this information while answering a question by elected member for Anse Aux Pins Meggy Marie.
Mr Marie had asked Minister Payet to give details to the Assembly on the project to address coastal erosion affecting inhabitants living in the Care Free guest house area up to the Anse Aux Pins playground.

Minister Payet explained that the coastal area in question had been subjected to a study by Japanese experts studying coastal erosion and flooding in priority areas on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

“The study concluded that erosion affecting the mentioned coastal area at Anse Aux Pins is not deemed serious to be considered a priority under the Japanese pilot project,” added Minister Payet.

He also pointed out that government policy with regard to coastal area protection only allows for public funds to be invested in state property used by the public in general, stressing that responsibility for protection of private properties situated on the coast lies with the owners.
Minister Payet further explained that 17 out of the 19 properties located in the area in question are privately owned.

But he said officials from his ministry have already met some property owners of the area to listen to their propositions and see how they can help to address the problem of erosion and there have been propositions to carry out some reclamation to reinforce protection of the area.

“It remains now for the environment ministry to carry out further talks with the Land Use and Housing ministry to define a GIS Reclamation Line for the area which would clearly demarcate where some reclamation and stabilisation of the coast would be permitted,” Minister Payet informed the Assembly.

But Minister Payet explained that development of Ile Soleil is also having an impact on the coastal stability of the area and this is being reviewed with the Japanese experts and considerations to put in place a mitigation plan to stabilise the area are being studied.

With regard to funding of community projects Minister Payet noted that Anse Boileau and Anse Royale are two districts which have in the past tapped into the funds which have benefitted coastal projects there.

Other than districts Minister Payet said several environment NGOs have also tapped into the funds to put in place their different projects.
Meanwhile, Minister Payet admitted that the main challenge is that districts lack the capacity to come up with viable project proposals.

He said his ministry has already conducted workshops on Praslin and La Digue for that purpose and will continue to train people at community level so they have the capacity to come up with viable project proposals which they could submit for funding.

He added that once the districts, particularly Anse Aux Pins, have formed their community groups, his ministry would step in to help them identify funding sources.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=242435

Sirop14

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Four entrepreneurs welcome President Michel in Pointe Larue

Post  Sirop14 on Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:59 pm

Four entrepreneurs welcome President Michel in Pointe Larue

25-September-2015
President James Michel yesterday visited small businesses in the Pointe Larue district. This forms part of his ongoing visits to various districts to see for himself what those businesses are experiencing.
The president was accompanied by the Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation, Michael Benstrong, the principal secretary for Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation Marise Berlouis, member of the National Assembly for Pointe Larue Jennifer Jasmin, district administrator Julita Adela and senior officials in the Office of the President.
President Michel visited Maryline Reine’s Praise and Faith Take-Away, Margarette Chang-Time’s Maggy’s Day Care Centre, Regis Bristol’s Island Bakery and Patrick Joseph’s garage.
Like in most districts, businesses in Pointe Larue are also experiencing problems but the owners have been displaying a strong sense of resilience to stay in business.
The Praise and Faith Take-Away is facing increasing health and safety demands from the health authorities even though it has complied with most of them.
Maggy’s Day Care is facing rising expenses but cannot raise the childminding rate as it will affect parents greatly. Ms Chang-Time said she cannot take more kids as she has to comply with the quota.
Mr Bristol of Island Bakery is quite happy with the performance of his business but feels it is a bit off the main road and people do not really see that it exists. He was advised by the President to have a signboard installed near the road.
As for Mr Joseph he is experiencing problems with neighbours as his garage is situated in a residential area.
He has expressed the wish to have another location, preferably in Pointe Larue.
Speaking to the media after the tour, Minister Benstrong said yesterday’s visit was a continuation of the visits to small businesses in various districts of the country where Seychellois who have started off their businesses at home now need to move to the next level as those have expanded.
He said the challenges most small businesses keep coming up with are the difficulties encountered with different authorities in regards to the standards imposed.
“What we are seeing is that certain authorities are not being accommodative. They do not give a timeframe for the entrepreneurs to start their business and later comply with other standards as requested,” said the minister, citing the Praise and Faith Take-Away as a clear example.
He added that the take-away business was to be operational as soon as it was completed but other demands that are not directly related to the good functioning of the business were being imposed.
“On one side we understand their regulations to maintain a good standard on health and hygiene. At the same time there should be more flexibility where a timeframe is accorded to the entrepreneur to comply with,” said the minister.
He added that entrepreneurs become frustrated when they don’t get the necessary licences because they have already used the money in setting up their business.
Regarding the issue that maybe business regulations in the country have been written in a way to cater for big businesses, Minister Benstrong said his ministry is working with the relevant partners to re-look at their business framework so as to be more accommodative.
“For example instated of telling a person from day one that he/she should have all the facilities ready before starting operation, you can tell him/her the most important things he/she needs to have in place and give him/her a timeframe of at least six months to have the rest in place,” said the minister.
The accompanying photos show highlights of President Michel’s Pointe Larue visit.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246894

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