More than 850 residents in Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are currently affected by flooding following some two weeks of heavy rainfall across the country.
Kwakwani is one of the hardest-hit communities in the region and perhaps the country, where water levels remain some 12ft high due to the overflowing of the Berbice River.
Regional Chairman Deron Adams told this publication that some 150 persons in Kwakwani are affected, with 42 currently seeking refuge in temporary shelters.
In Aroaima, more than 400 persons are affected, 42 of whom are in shelters. In Hururu, more than 200 are affected, with 41 being in shelters. In Malali, more than 80 families are affected, two of which have been relocated. In Muritaro, more than 50 families are affected; and in Rockstone, 18 persons are in shelters.
In addition, the floods have wiped out many farmlands and livestock, and destroyed several homes. The Regional Chairman has noted that assessments are still ongoing, and therefore he could not pronounce on the extent of the damage imposed.
He noted that the main priority is to ensure people are provided with food and shelter, and said the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has since activated its Disaster Preparedness Plan to bring relief to residents in affected areas.
Through collaborative efforts, he said, Regional Authorities have already established several shelters in the region. He added that the region worked along with the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) to ensure their respective services are available at the shelters.
Hundreds of relief hampers have already been distributed to affected residents, with more slated to be distributed.
The Regional Chairman is also calling on Central Government to lend more assistance in especially the area of health.
“[There is] need for areas to be fogged out to prevent mosquito infections and the potential spread of malaria, zika and dengue,” he explained.
Going forward, he called for financial aid to be provided to families who have been severely affected by the flooding, and for assistance in moving them to higher ground.
“We are calling on the Government to ensure that emergency works are done on the outlets and clearing of the many clogged creeks in the region. Financial grants for every household affected, businesses with losses, and affected farms; and for the damaged properties, houses, furniture, electrical appliances and vehicles. There is much need for lands for relocation of people to higher ground, and assistance for the rebuilding of their homes,” the Regional Chairman said.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips was accompanied by Public Works Minister Juan Edghill on a flood assessment outreach at Muritaro and Malali along the Demerara River in Region 10.
The Minister said over 20 homes were affected, and would have received relief supplies.
A commitment was also given for a medical team to be in the area to conduct an outreach, since reports of rash, and even vomiting and diarrhoea, have been received.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phillips has said that all 98 families in Muritaro would receive a food hamper with cleaning agents as well as safe drinking water.
The Prime Minister also appealed to the residents to take the COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect themselves and loved ones.
Meanwhile, the Civil Defence Commission on Wednesday said two temporary shelters are being established in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). The shelters are being set up at Karawab and St. Monica to accommodate residents who have been displaced as a result of flooding due to heavy rainfall.
CDC on Monday dispatched items, including cots, blankets, mosquito nets, pillows, water purification tablets, face masks and soap, to meet the immediate needs of residents who would be placed in the shelters.
In a social media post on Wednesday, the CDC said at least ten persons in the region have already been identified for evacuation, and a total of 1,084 households have been impacted by floodwaters in Region Two.
Meanwhile, several local businesses and organisations have been offering support to the CDC. On Wednesday, the Association of Chinese Enterprises donated $2M towards relief efforts.
Additionally, Cyril’s Transportation Services donated $1M towards relief efforts by the CDC.
Also, Toucan Distributors and China Trading on Wednesday handed over supplies to the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) for distribution to flood-affected households.
Added to these, Mantra Restaurant and Lounge, Level Patio and Grille, The Boardroom and Ecom Shop Guyana also donated food items, cleaning supplies and rain boots to the Civil Defence Commission to aid the national flood relief efforts.