In November 2023 the CRIMARIO team had planned a crisis management workshop between the 11th and the 15th of December in the Seychelles. However, due to unexpected circumstances the focus needed to change and the team had to swiftly adapt and carry out a workshop and develop tools on organisational chains.

The initial objective of the mission was to understand the general crisis management organisation of the Seychelles Disaster Risk Management Division (DRMD) and prepare a workshop to the benefit of all agencies involved at relief coordination level.

On the 7th of December, though, Seychelles suffered two major blows. Firstly, heavy rainfall caused severe damage to roads, flooding, and landslides, with destruction of several properties and three people dead. On the same day, an explosion at a quarrying company in the Providence industrial area caused massive damage to residential homes and commercial buildings, along the east coast of the main island of Mahe.

Despite the difficult situation, the DRMD authorities decided to carry on with the mission while changing the objective: in light of the events, they requested the assignment to focus on analysing organisational chains during the management of a crisis and proposing solutions, particularly in terms of information management in crisis situations.

Upon arrival Fabrice Tollari and Samuel Champon, from the CRIMARIO II project, met M.Errol Fonseka Minister of the Interior,  M. Robert Ernesta DG of DRMD and M.Daniel Cetoupe Principal Disaster Management Officer, to discuss the situation and agree on the actions to take.

In the following days, the CRIMARIO team played an important role in leading the activities in handling the situation in cooperation with the country’s partners in charge of crisis management at national level.

The work focused on analysing and sharing with DRMD the organisational areas needing improvement, drawing a communication plan, and delivering 2 awareness-raising workshops for the agencies involved in DRM.

The workshops equipped officials from various branches of the Seychelles Government, many of which were involved in the disasters that took place on the 6th & 7th December, with the knowledge and tools to better communicate in a crisis.

Moreover, the CRIMARIO team drafted a procedure for activating and implementing the 3-level chains of command (tactical, strategic and political) and a Situation Report (SITREP) template, to provide decision-makers and readers with a quick understanding of the current situation.

In addition, the CRIMARIO team has drafted a procedure for managing and sharing information in a crisis situation, for use by the three-level chains of command (tactical, strategic and political), as well as a situation report template (SITREP). In the long term, this procedure could greatly facilitate understanding of the situation and support decision-makers.

During the press conference held on the 12th of December Mr. Cetoupe, after explaining the situation on the ground, informed about the support the country was receiving from the CRIMARIO project, whose team was in Seychelles at the time of the incident conducting training with the DRMD staff[1].