The Seychelles Department of Culture says it is studying the possibility of restoring the Cascade water wheel following discussions that they held with the District’s Heritage Fund Committee.
If the study proves that the project is feasible, the ruins of a colonial water wheel that was once turned by the Cascade River will be restored and turned into a one-of-a-kind tourism attraction for a unique photo opportunity. Earlier this month, Cascade District Administration’s representative with its Heritage Trust Fund Committee visited its heritage sites to work to reposition their district as a must-visit by visitors to the country.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, accompanied by Benjamine Rose, the Principal Secretary for Culture, met Fred Barrat, the Chairman of the Cascade District Administration, and the Cascade District Heritage Fund Committee to discuss the tourism potential of the heritage sites of the district. The meeting also discussed the possibility of repairing the Cascade water wheel and to turn its surrounding area into a tourism project with artisanal kiosks, an eatery area, etc.
Benjamine Rose, the Principal Secretary for Culture, said the “committee’s initial project was to explore the district’s assets and heritage sites to give value added to community-based tourism projects.”
The Cascade water wheel was built in the 1940s. In early the 1970s, the water wheel that was powered from the Cascade waterfall but was left in a dilapidated state. It was in the early 1980s that the water wheel was restored to its original glory, but a maintenance program was not put into place, and the wheel broke down again. Today there is a desire by Cascade to see the wheel rebuilt, and Benjamine Rose, the Principal Secretary for Culture, said that the restoration of the Cascade water wheel will fall within the ministry of creative industry policy. She explained that the District’s Heritage Trust Fund Committee will host a meeting at Cascade to present their proposed tourism-based projects.
“The water wheel is a rich heritage asset for the Cascade district. The Ministry will work closely with the Cascade District to restore the water wheel. We’re proposing to build a restaurant adjacent to the water wheel and turn the area into a rare example of a living heritage site,” Benjamine Rose said after the meeting with the Cascade district officials.
Benjamine Rose said that such projects will help prepare the District of Cascade for a Cultural District Award that was launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in November 2013. Ms. Rose said the ministry welcomed ideas for working in close collaboration with the different districts to develop projects that will be beneficial for the community. Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, said that Cascade is the first one in a series of districts it has now met and plans to assist in developing community-based projects. Ms. Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture, is encouraging other districts with potential cultural assets to work close with the ministry.
“Seychelles needs more such facilities for our visitors to visit. Community-based tourism can help by offering more activities for tourists to visit and buy an extra souvenir or a local delicacy. This approach will help bring the tourism dollar into the community and can go a long way to increase the country’s yield from tourism,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .