La Passerelle

Victoria, Seychelles’ Capital City has a new waterfront garden which will provide a place for live entertainment and a meeting place for locals and visitors. 

‘La Passerelle,’ as the garden is known, is an initiative of  Mayor David Andre to liven up the capital of the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. It was officially opened on Saturday. 

Overlooking the sea, the garden offers gazebos, benches and picnic tables, a cafeteria, music and artisanal kiosks, providing a welcoming venue for both locals and visitors. 

“This small but beautiful waterfront project fulfils a lot of the sustainable development objectives and will make a substantive contribution to improving the environment of Victoria often described as a charming creole capital,” Andre said at the opening ceremony. 

He added that ‘La Passerelle’ will add a lively and vibrant feel to Victoria. 

“Musicians, visual artists, poets and dances can have an open air space to showcase their talents and provide us with healthy entertainment,” said Andre.

The name ‘La Passerelle’ is a French word which means gangplank or platform used to board or leave a large ship. Andre said he was inspired to come up with the concept by his childhood in Victoria, his instinct as an artist and his participation in international mayors’ forum on the development of sustainable green cities. 

Apart from being a place where all segments of the population including visitors can mix and integrate, Andre said such places are also catalysts for economic activities and also a source of employment. 

Already four of the five artisanal kiosks are being occupied by artisans who are selling various craftworks with a strong focus on local products. 

‘La Passerelle’ waterfront garden also provides a cultural space with its music kiosk called ‘Akoustik’ Kafe, sponsored by businessman Vijay Patel at a cost of $26,000 (SCR 350,000). 

The waterfront garden also has an educational mission to raise awareness on the need to protect the environment.

Andre said schoolchildren have used slippers/flip flops collected in the Clean Up campaign on Aldabra to create marine species which have been used to decorate the area.

Another facility is a cafeteria — ‘Waterfront Café’ — which will focus on serving local dishes.

Construction of the café was undertaken by private investors — Jeremy and Jennifer Couch — who are also leasing the place from the Mayor’s office. The project cost $109,000 (SCR 1.5 million).

Original article published by Seychelles News Agency