As floodwaters continued to rise in the Rupununi, Vice-Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Karl Singh yesterday said shelters have been identified in the event persons will have to be moved.
Giving an update yesterday afternoon on the flooding in the region, Singh told Stabroek News that a meeting was convened between the RDC, Lethem Mayor Kerry Jarvis, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Ministry of Public Health and other stakeholders.
It was at the meeting that they were able to identify shelters in the event that they have to relocate persons due to the rising water.
“The water continues to come up and it’s just rising. I noticed it started to rise a bit faster this afternoon [Thursday] and it would’ve risen about five to six feet from about 12 pm and it’s not going down. By 8 [am] tomorrow [today], we are going to check because we have established some markers to mark the water and we have those things in place,” Singh said.
Deep South Rupununi was also cut off after one of the main bridges was inundated and while an alternate route was identified between the communities of Katoonarib and Karaudarnau was identified, Singh noted that they have not been able to make any headway because of the height of the water.
He said that the Public Health Ministry is also paying close attention since a large majority of the residents use pit latrines.
“So, you’d find that would be a problem so health is a major concern at the moment as the rainfall continues,” Singh added.
He also noted that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is also monitoring the situation closely and the region is expecting a CDC team along with the Minister of State Joseph Harmon to visit soon.
While Stabroek News was unable to contact acting Director General of the CDC Lt. Col. Kester Craig, a Department of Public Information (DPI) report confirmed reported him as saying that the CDC will be visiting and assessing the flood-affected areas. He said too that the CDC is monitoring the Takutu and Ireng rivers along with the roadways.
Craig noted that the main aim of the visit is to locate deficiencies in the region’s preparedness and response capability and work towards enhancing them.
“We’ll be looking at the shelter capacity, or the status of the location identified for shelter, supplies for relief, health facilities to see if there are adequate drugs in the result of an outbreak and we will also look at the response coordination system in the region to see how we can strengthen and give them support,” the report quoted Craig saying.
He also encouraged residents to stockpile food, water and medical supplies as well as household items.