Efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) are underway to take supplies to the farmers in the Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight) area who suffered losses in last week’s flashfloods which destroyed 266 farms.
The Ministry of the Presidency in a statement last evening said that considering the water has completely receded, teams from the MoA will be visiting the Region to assist in the replanting process.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Joylyn Nestor-Burrowes, after a meeting with the acting Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Major Kester Craig yesterday, said that the Ministry has received reports from the areas affected and has begun putting together a list of the supplies needed.
As soon as these are acquired, Nestor-Burrowes said that a team from the Ministry will move into the area and begin to work with the affected farmers.
“We can only move into the areas where the water has receded at this time. As the other regions continue to recede, we will also work with them. There are no immediate threats to any livestock so it’s really just the cash crops at this time,” she added.
Meanwhile, Major Craig said that while floodwaters continue to recede in all of the affected areas in Region Eight, even fully receding from the land in some of the communities, the Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) has seen an increase in water on the land, and several communities are inundated.
It is against this backdrop that CDC has established a Forward Operations Base in neighbouring Kamarang, Cuyuni- Mazaruni (Region Seven) to bring relief to the residents in the affected areas there, the statement added.
In addition to this, a team comprising representatives of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and the CDC has been deployed to affected communities across the region to ascertain the extent and impact of flooding there, and to assess the needs at this time.
Nonetheless, the villages of Kako, Kamarang, Warawatta, Jawalla, Waramadong, Imbai-madai, Phillipai, Amokokopi, Quebanang and Paruima are still flooded. However, the extent and impact of the flooding continue to be investigated.
Reports coming out of the Region indicated that eight houses in Kako had been flooded; however up to press time, two remained flooded, while all farms were under water. Phillipai has recorded approximately 15 small landslides, whilst the children in Kamarang are unable to get to school.
However, the RDC, which worked alongside the CDC earlier this year to complete the Regional Multi-Hazard Preparedness and Response Plan, has activated its Disaster Risk Management Committee and has been actively responding to the flooding in the area.
Thus far, they have facilitated a joint field visit to several of the flood affected communities, dispatched 62 food hampers, 100 collapsible water bottles, cleaning and medical supplies to Kamarang, to be distributed to the flood-affected communities.
Further, two planes laden with supplies including 116 food hampers will be dispatched to the Operations Base today for distribution. The region has also advised residents to reap crops in affected farms to prevent complete losses.
Additionally, the team of engineers from the Guyana Defence Force and the Guyana Water Incorporated who travelled to the villages of Itabac and Kanapang on Tuesday to conduct an assessment of the damaged roads and buildings, and to facilitate water quality testing has extended their stay to include the other affected villages.
They will now conduct a full assessment of all of the affected areas in Region Eight and provide a detailed report to the Government.
And as promised on Tuesday, a reinforcement team from the Ministry of Public Health and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), yesterday arrived in Orinduik to support other health officials, who were in the region since Friday. They will continue to conduct health assessments and medical outreaches in the affected areas even as medical supplies are being shuttled in.
Thus far, the acting Director General said that 501 relief food hampers along with 388 relief cleaning hampers and 170 collapsible bottles were distributed among the communities of Chenapau, Kaiba-rupai, Waipa, Sand Hill, Itabac, and Kanapang, while blankets, medical supplies, tarpaulins, nails, clothing and disinfectant were also forwarded.
Nonetheless, the CDC continues to engage several other critical agencies including the Ministry of Social Protection, the Ministry of Social Cohesion, the Guyana Red Cross Society and the Guyana Relief Council with the view of determining how best the needs of all of the residents can be addressed through cooperation and pooling of resources at this time.