Jul 11, 2017 News
Sanitation packages and equipment were distributed to the flood-affected, riverain communities of Martindale, Hackney, Aberdeen, and Friendship along the Pomeroon River, Region Two.
Over the weekend, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, Minister of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings and Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix visited residents in the aftermath of the recent flood.
“The Ministers listened to the issues raised by the residents and distributed supplies of Jeyes Fluid, Marvex bleach, drugs, mosquito nets, health awareness pamphlets, wheel barrows, long boots and shovels, among agricultural tools.”
Several residents explained that the flooding was due to a recent tropical storm having an effect on the Pomeroon River, raising the water by approximately two and a half feet. One resident of Martindale, Trevor Coziar said this storm coupled with the mouth of the Pomeroon River being heavily silted caused the floods in the various communities in the area.
Other residents highlighted the urgent need for canals to be dug and cleared, while others spoke of the need for assistance with their inundated farm lands among others.
Minister Bulkan, in response to the residents’ concerns, promised and committed to facilitate immediate relief. The Minister explained that government is not oblivious to the issues and challenges affecting the residents in the communities and based on earlier discussions, addressing the issue of the Pomeroon River is a priority one.
“If we are to bring about meaningful and early relief to the challenges and issues then it means that the dredging at the mouth of this river has to be a priority.”
The Minister also noted that measures will be taken to address the other issues in a timely manner.
Regarding the health issues raised, Minister Cummings emphasised that the government acknowledges the importance of health and will continue to upgrade the health facilities in the region. She indicated that before the year ends, some upgrades will be added to the health facilities there.
“We’re going to have 50 medics graduating in November, we’re having more doctors, very soon and in this quarter, I’ll make sure we have a medical outreach here, the dentist and ophthalmologist who deals with the eyes will be here. So at least in this quarter you will get services you weren’t getting in the last quarter and maybe years,” Minister Dr. Cummings explained.
Meanwhile, Minister Felix urged the residents to ensure that their children are registered within one year after birth. He explained that after one year the registration process becomes more tedious and leads to many persons being unregistered for most of their lives.
“Just recently we discovered that persons in their 50s are now being registered for the first time in their lives. So, parents please register your children, even if they weren’t born in Venezuela or the father is not there. Every other step could be completed after the registration is done,” Minister Felix emphasised.
The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke with several residents who responded to government’s assistance.
Tracy De Costa, a Community Health Worker at the Hackney Health Centre, told DPI she is grateful that the health centre will now be able to better serve the residents.
“I want to say thank you for these stuff that you have brought for us; the ORS (Oral rehydration solutions), Ibuprofen, gloves and the tablets for treating our water and making the community safe.”
Ann James, another resident of Hackney Canal noted that this is the first Ministerial visit to her community and she is grateful for the assistance provided.
“No minister never visited us, this is the first time and we are much thankful and grateful for this government…I feel proud of everything that they brought for us and what more we may ask and they will do for us.”
Other issues raised during the visit included the need for Information Communication Technology (ICT) hubs in the area for students to have access to internet, the issue of land titling, and issues of cooperatives.
Minister Bulkan assured that these issues will be forwarded to the relevant Ministers on his return to Georgetown.
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