CDC widens relief efforts as list of affected areas grows

Hinterland floods…

Children preparing to head to school via boats in Chenapau as school reopened yesterday.

The Civil Defence Com-mission (CDC) was yesterday preparing to extend its surveillance and relief efforts as it received reports of more flood-affected areas in regions 8 and 7.

In the wake of excessive rainfall in the highland regions over the past few days, coupled with the cresting of the Ireng River, Kaibarupai, Waipa, Chenapau, Sand Hill Settlement, Itabac and Kanapang in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), and Paruima, Kako, Jawalla, Phillipai, Kamarang and Quebanang in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) have been hit by flooding.

Deputy Director of the CDC Major Kester Craig told Stabroek News that in addition to the six affected villages in Region Eight, new reports revealed that Kopinang and Chuing have also been affected by flooding. He said the CDC has since started preparing supplies to be dispatched to the two villages.

But due to the fact that no direct flights can be done to those villages, the supplies will first be flown to Kato, after which they would be transported to Kopinang and Chuing via All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).

Regarding the situation in Region Seven, Craig reported that mostly farmlands have been affected by the water and even as the water levels continue to drop, he assured Stabroek News that CDC personnel on the ground will be making checks in the villages where other reports of flooding have been received.

Stabroek News was told yesterday that while water continues to recede in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region, the water in the Ireng River continues to rise as a direct result of heavy rainfall experienced in the Potaro-Siparuni River all of Mon-day evening. However, Craig, having confirmed this, explained that it is not a case where the Ireng River has crested its banks again.

Reports from Chenapau Village in Region Eight indicated that while many trails remained under water, boats were being used to shuttle children to school, which had since restarted.

And even as residents continue to seek refuge on higher lands, pictures shown to Stabroek News captured a few children from the village frolicking in the river.

As it relates to the health situation, the Deputy Director noted that while there have been no reports of outbreaks in any of the affected villages, Minister within in the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe has been doing rounds with two doctors.

Craig said a more comprehensive update on the medical situation will be given when the report is received by the CDC.

He noted that a team from the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) will be heading to Chenapau to set up water filtration systems.

\Additionally, he said the Kanapang Primary School kitchen will soon be the recipient of a new gas stove and other cooking utensils. The items were donated by Komal Singh and GAICO Construction, who, after learning of a request made by Toshao Charles Lewis, promptly responded to support the rebuilding efforts.

The stove and other items had been washed away by the floodwaters, Craig said, while noting that the stove along with mosquito nets and several footballs have been handed over.

Meanwhile, an administrative officer at the CDC, who spoke to Stabroek News on Sunday, said the CDC has flown in over 300 donations to the two regions over the weekend, while noting that the initial need was for food hampers for a family of 5 to 10 persons for one week.

Now the requests have grown from food supplies to farming supplies. Some farmers in the area have lost acres of produce on their farms as there have been reports of landslides.

Donations for the flood-affected villages have been received from far and wide. Additional supplies donated by farmers and other persons who wanted to help send relief to the two regions were scheduled to be collected yesterday from Fort Wellington Regional Office in West Berbice.

Additionally, the Amer-indian Peoples’ Association (APA) issued an appeal for food, clothing and hardware supplies, such as nails and tarpaulin, to help make temporary shelters for the villagers. It also asked for persons to visit its head offices in Charlotte Street, Bourda to help pack the supplies, which would then be handed over to the CDC.

The CDC yesterday once again extended gratitude to  all the entities, and individuals that have  contributed to its relief efforts, including Food for the Poor Incorporated; ANSA McAl Trading; Nand Persaud Company Limited; the APA; Banks DIH Limited; Dunae Trading;  Thamesha Watson (Miss World Guyana semi-finalist); Dwayne Brhamdeow, Operations Adviser – Prevention of Teenage Suicide Guyana; Eddie Doolall; SVC Pharmacy; the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs; the Remote Area Medical; and Sterling Products Limited.

All donations can be made to the CDC at its Thomas Lands office and the National Emergency Operations Centre can be contacted at (592) 226-1114, 226-8815, 226-1027 or 225-5847 or (592) 623-1700/600-7500.