Flood recovery is hard work

Dear Editor,
Our world is still being besieged by a host of problems. Over the last few days, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have been hit with floods. And then right after, the BBC reported on mudslides in India. I can go on, but what I want to say, is that the recent flooding situation in Guyana fits in to a global phenomenon of hard times for many people, but here there was the appreciation for human non-fatalities, as well as the rising of Government to take a hands-on approach to help the many affected by loss of livelihood and possessions. It was noteworthy to take to heart that even the President himself was on many flood-alleviation trips.
Now that the field assessment was conducted, and this after dealing with the immediate and necessary relief efforts, as it should be, the Government of Guyana is currently fine-tuning the data it collected, so that necessary next steps can begin, which will lead to all the affected getting back their livelihood.
The word in the air is that “President Dr Irfaan Ali will soon be making an announcement, regarding the financial assistance that will be rolled out.” This is not something to be brushed over, as some 30,000 households were severely displaced and every one of these will be eligible for Government assistance. I add that there will be massive efforts and inputs towards the many bigger farmers who lost huge crops such as rice and livestock.
People must take cognisance of the fact that the aftermath of flooding is a serious matter. It is more than giving hand-outs. The literature is there with findings that flooded soils create significant challenges for agricultural lands. Floods have many direct impacts, the most prominent being: Deposition of sand and debris on the productive lands; erosion of agricultural soils; and flooded soil syndrome that is the loss of beneficial fungi which mobilise soil-based plant nutrients. I can add to this list, but for now, my word is that we must be aware that landowners face a number of economic challenges when recovering from a flood. Recovery is hard work and our farmers need an extra dose of patience and persistence in these times. So, I commend the Government, many private bodies and other agencies, local and outside, for all the help.

Yours truly,
Baldeo Mathura