The Guyana Civil Defence Commission (CDC) on Monday issued a warning to residents living along the Cuyuni and Mazaruni Rivers, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), to move to higher grounds as mudslides are expected.
The CDC explained that the National Weather Watch Centre forecasts that conditions will likely lead to continued flooding of areas already under water and as such those residents could be affected. It also urged that the residents take the necessary precautions to safeguard life and property against flooding, heavy winds and mudslides.
Meanwhile, the emergency response body also activated its volunteer corps to support the Commission and provide relief to residents in flood-affected regions.
During an Emergency Volunteer Meeting held via Zoom on Sunday, Director General, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig told the more than 45 volunteers in attendance to be on standby to offer support in the areas of emergency response and monitoring, packing of hampers and shelter management across the country.
Craig said that with the activation of the Regional Disaster Risk Management System, support will be needed at the level of the municipalities, Regional Democratic Councils and Neighbouring Democratic Councils.
“Over the years, we have been working hard as possible in the 10 administrative regions to develop our regional response mechanisms. In some regions, especially those that are impacted regularly by events, the system is more oiled…where in others, the system is very rusty…with the support from Central Government, we will support them where they have deficiencies,” he noted.
The Director General said support is also needed for the Commission’s National Emergency Management System (NEMS) which has been receiving an influx of messages and telephone calls concerning flood activities in affected regions.
“I’ve directed that all of those calls, missed calls must be returned, and get the information from those people as far as possible,” he told the volunteers.
Volunteers were also told of the possibility of setting up more shelters in flood-affected areas and as such shelter management support may be needed. Volunteers trained in this area were told to be on standby as their expertise will be required.
Shelters have been set up in Regions Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) with calls for shelters in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).
As it relates to the level of impact, the Director General stated that the situation can be considered a Level One response but if heavy rainfall continues it can escalate to Level Two which will be more labour intensive, thus requiring support.
The CDC has committed to monitoring all areas across Guyana during this prolonged rainy season and encourages persons to register as a volunteer.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), whose members operate heavily in Region Seven, donated $1.5 million to the CDC to assist communities which have been affected by the recent flooding.
The donation by the GGDMA was in response to a request made by the CDC for assistance in the establishment of shelters, and to bring relief to several communities negatively impacted by the recent heavy rainfall.
The GGDMA said it will continue to monitor several areas in mining districts which are among some of the areas affected and will also offer support to miners and other communities. (G2)