…households to get $20,000
The government has announced a $40 million relief package for residents of the Rupununi who experienced extensive flooding during May and June.
While assistance reached the communities during the time of the flood, the government had announced that it would provide residents with a relief package, much the same it did for coast landers at the time of the flood in 2005.
According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Collin Croal, the $40 million relief package was announced by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds during Amerindian Heritage Day celebrations held in Aishalton Sunday.
Croal told Kaieteur News, yesterday, that the modalities of the relief package are being worked out and it would not be too long before the assistance reaches the communities.
Part of the funds will facilitate a household relief payout of $20,000, the Regional Executive Officer of Region Nine, Ronald Ramsaywack told Kaieteur News.
He said that the list of persons to benefit from the household assistance is being verified “to make sure that those who receive the payout are actually the ones who should get it.”
Ramsaywack said that the payout would be handled by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and the Region Nine Administration.
A significant portion of Region Nine, most notably the Administrative centre of Lethem, was affected by the floods. Region Nine has 63 villages. At one point, water and electricity were affected. It was one of the worst floods the region had seen in decades.
Several shelters were established in Lethem to provide accommodation for residents who were forced to evacuate their homes. Each shelter was provided with treated water, food and medical supplies.
The Arapaima Primary School, the St Ignatius Secondary School and two nursery schools were among the buildings used to house affected residents.
Approximately 640 students in the affected areas were directly affected, being unable to attend school.
In addition to the 59 Community Health Workers stationed in the region, the Ministry of Health dispatched additional doctors and medex to boost the medical response.
Flood kits containing medication for flood-related illnesses were dispatched to the various health centers. There was no outbreak of vector or water borne diseases. Medical teams engaged villagers about the importance of evacuation from, the proper disposal of garbage and treatment of water.
Most of the farms, mainly cassava and corn crops, were affected and several interventions were made to help reduce losses in the form of a mechanized cassava mill which was presented to Aishalton to assist with the processing of the cassava into farine to ensure food security.
The cassava mill has the capacity to process hundreds of pounds of cassava within a few hours and helped farmers to save as much of their staple food as possible.
Subsequent to a visit to the region by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and other Ministers, along with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and other non-governmental organizations, an Emergency Response Centre was established in the region to facilitate a national relief effort.
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