A letter appearing in the Stabroek News edition of Thursday June 23, authored by John Yow, caught my attention and simultaneously provoked my wrath (‘Not all Lethem residents affected by the flood have been assisted’). This individual has now emerged as the mouthpiece of a handful of persons who all used the recent Lethem flooding and suffering of the people as an opportunity for cheap political mileage. Mr Yow and his clique of disgruntled persons, all of whom I personally know, did not turn a straw during the recent flood, nor had any useful recommendations nor offered any support, but now have the audacity to criticize the remarkable efforts of the regional administration.
The response of the regional administration under the stewardship of the Regional Executive Officer Mr Ronald Harsawack was indeed timely and unprecedented. The response by the Emergency Management Operations Centre (EMOC) was decisive, well organised, effective and in my opinion, flawless. According to many persons that I have spoken to the response by the administration of Region 9 as well as the other government agencies was most commendable. This view was sounded in many other quarters, from the various ministers that were present on the ground, as well as the private sector and most of all the residents who where all grateful for the relief efforts.
His absurd claim of persons being sidelined by an officer of the administration in the distribution of government resources, is mere garbage. For one must realise that there is only one chief accounting officer of the region, under whose purview all assets of the state fall. The accountability buck stops at the accounting officer. I am also aware that they were several teams involved in the distribution of supplies, comprising non-governmental organisations as well as teams from the administration.
I was personally involved in the distribution exercise in the Lethem, Culvert City, St Ignatius and Tabatinga Housing Scheme, where every single home that was flooded (that is homes in which water was inside) received rations and cleaning supplies to last a family of 4 for 28 days.
I’m still to figure out what is the relevance of Mr Yow’s sentiments about vehicles being assigned to officers; as far as I’m aware the Chairman’s office is assigned a vehicle and a driver and the officer of the administration drives himself.
Editor, I would like to urge Mr Yow and his associates to wake up and smell the coffee; Region 9 under its current administration has seen significant changes and radical improvements in all facets of its five programmes. So instead of always conspiring and plotting, they should get their hands onboard and help those who have made our lives more comfortable and work together for the larger good of the people of Region 9.
District Development Officer
Annai Sub District