Several parts of Deep South Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) continues to be cut off from central Lethem due to severe flooding in the region, which has washed away a number of roads. Additionally, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) said the water level continues to fluctuate, making it tough for them to assess the level of damage.
The flooding is as a result of the overtopping of several rivers, particularly the Takutu River, due to heavy rainfall in the region and over in neighbouring Brazil which resulted in overtopping of the Rio Brancho River. At present, 59 persons have been evacuated and placed in three shelters which were established, and they are being tended by the region with support from the CDC.
The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has also been providing support through a boat shuttle service for residents from 06:00h to 18:00h every day.
Reports reaching this publication state that the Deep South Rupununi’s main access road en-route to Aishalton is partly washed away. However, vehicles are presently traversing on the back road through Karaudanawa to get to Aishalton so that they can access those communities.
In addition, residents who live in low-lying areas in close proximity to the Moco Moco and Tabatinga Creeks in the municipality of Lethem have been evacuated and are being housed in the temporary shelters. Nevertheless, a number of the residents have chosen to remain in their homes since the water continues to fluctuate.
Guyana Times was told that while residents in the some of the Indigenous communities may not be severely affected, their farmlands would have been affected. Toshaos have since been tasked with the responsibility of assessing and producing the number of farmlands that were affected in their respective communities to the RDC.
On Saturday, acting CDC Director, Major Kester Craig told this publication that the Commission is actively monitoring the situation in collaboration with the Regional Disaster Management Committee. He added that they will continue providing relief supplies to those in the shelters.
On Friday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon led a team to the region to assess the situation. The Minister said the current weather patterns in the region and in Brazil will see the water rising and receding at frequent intervals; but with a coordinated approach, some semblance of order can exist. Minister Harmon noted that, overall, he is satisfied with the arrangements put in place, as the response and preparation this year has far surpassed those that were in place last year.
The CDC, on Friday, carried in the supplies requested by the region, including water purification tablets, collapsible bottles, detergents and cleaning supplies, beddings and blankets, among other materials.
Minister Harmon noted that since the flooding is expected to be an annual occurrence, the Administration will work to fast track the construction of a bond for the CDC in the region, which would provide storage for materials in the event of a disaster.