Jun 11, 2021 News
– Showers to continue through August; 29,000 households affected by flooding
Kaieteur News – The Government of Guyana is bracing for more heavy rainfall in the coming weeks, with showers expected to continue throughout August, Prime Minister, Brigadier (Retd) Mark Phillips, told the National Assembly at the opening of the 28th Sitting of the 12th Parliament, yesterday.
He was at the time giving an update to the House on the recent rainfall, which resulted in flooding in several Regions of the country. The Prime Minister (PM) also spoke extensively on Government’s response to some 29,000 households in the flood-affected areas.
According to Phillips, the Government led by President, Irfaan Ali, has mobilised support and ventured into the Regions where they helped distribute food and basic cleaning supplies to the residents.
He noted too, that the rainfall in May alone was recorded as the second highest rainfall across the country in the last 40 years.
Further, the PM said that based on meteorological predictions, the Administration is looking to continue to offer support to these communities.
“Guyana’s rainfall season usually lasts until early June for Region One, Two, Three, Four, Five and the northern parts of Regions Six, Seven, Eight and Ten, while it continues until early August in Region Nine and the southern parts of Region Six. [But] based on the latest seasonal reports, we can expect above normal levels of rainfall for the entire August in the country… Flooding will remain a concern for the affected communities for the period of June to July,” Phillips stated.
Brigadier Phillips noted too that based on the recent precipitation, all the major rivers have been flooded, creating similar situations for contiguous farmlands.
“…Food security is now being threatened, especially in Regions Seven, Eight and Nine.To date, Mr. Speaker, these severe weather conditions have affected over 29, 000 households in over 300 communities across all Administrative Regions and have caused damage to homes, distress and loss of livestock and other domestic animals, destruction of crops, farmlands and other forms of livelihood,” he said.
As a result of the severe weather conditions and flooding, the Prime Minister said that over 200 persons were forced to evacuate their homes and seek refuge at shelters.
At present, he said that the Administration has teamed up with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and a host of non-governmental stakeholders to proactively address the needs of citizens in the flood affected areas.
Under the stewardship of President, Irfaan Ali, Phillips said, the Government was swift in its response to provide support to the people through a multi-stakeholder approach.
“We visited several flood affected areas in our country to conduct flood assessments as well as participate in the ongoing relief measures of our people,” he explained adding that the CDC has been excessively active in its shelter management, evacuation and distribution efforts to the flood areas across Guyana.
Phillips said that “To date, the CDC has distributed over 19,000 food hampers and over 17,000 cleaning hampers as a form of emergency relief to families, as well as, helped evacuate 201 persons and place them in shelters from the communities at Kwakwani, Rockstone, Hurururu and Tapatinga…”
Meanwhile, the PM said that other forms of support are being made through a bank account established for members of the public to donate to the affected communities, while the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency, is among regional and international entities that are providing technical support.
He said that the regional authorities such as the municipalities and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) continue to provide monitoring and support to the people in their areas. Added to this, Phillips said that the Private Sector Commission (PSC), citizens and other private sector entities have also played a role in continuing to hand over supplies and donate to flood affected persons.
To this end, the PM said that over $35M in monetary donations was made towards the flood relief efforts.
In the meantime, he said that “Civil engineers and [National Drainage and Irrigation Authority] NDIA workers are continuing to monitor sluices and pumps, excavators are working around the clock, efforts are made to prevent breaches, repair kokers and clear outfall systems….”
PM Phillips added too that, “The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture are also monitoring to give response, when needed.”
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