Regional officials continue to monitor the presence of Venezuelans, who have been seeking refuge in several villages within the Mabaruma sub-district, from economic hardship back home
Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley in a telephone interview on Tuesday, told Stabroek News that the numbers remain the same, as the region continues to carry out the necessary checks.
“I was told this morning that the numbers have not changed so far from what I was previously told of, in the communities that we have listed for, and I think that one of the satellites in the community of White Water that there is a number of persons, but we are yet to assess that and be properly informed about how many persons, if there are persons there,” Ashley said.
Notwithstanding, he said health screenings are ongoing in several communities and that they have immigration personnel working to assist the region with the documentation of those who have arrived. “Currently, health screenings are on-going in several communities; we have a team in Whitewater, Yarakita, Morawhanna, we have at MB Tamakay [floating Police base] at the Waini River, we have a team that is at Santa Cruz, and I think Baramita, and those are carrying out health screenings for anybody who is probably coming from there and that will be on-going for the entire month while we look at resources and all of these things,” Ashley shared.
“I know that at the last meeting of the … Regional Disaster and Management Committee, we would have called for more immigration officers to be added to the region to help, and I was informed that there are personnel in the region who are assisting with trying to engage these persons that have them listed and so forth,” he added.
Regarding the accommodation of the Venezuelans, the Regional Chairman said some continue to be housed in churches, while others remain in the camps which were created within the community. Further, he says that the region continues to be assisted by the Civil Defence Commission and would have received a quantity of supplies that arrived in the sub-district via the ferry.
Earlier this month, Stabroek News had reported that there had been an influx of 100 Venezuelans to the Mabaruma sub-district.
Ashley had used his personal Facebook page to solicit donations on behalf of the Regional Disaster Relief Committee for “urgent assistance,” to provide clothing, food and other supplies for the Venezuelans. Ashley told Stabroek News that the Venezuelans, who are mostly of the Warrau Nation, would have previously occupied land along the Orinoco and Amacuro areas and travelled to Guyana to escape the harsh economic situation facing Venezuela.
Subsequent to this, a multi-agency meeting was convened where Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, announced that the Immigration Department in Region One will be reinforced to deal with the arrival of Venezuelans into Guyana.
A press statement from the Ministry of Presidency, quoted the Minister as saying that the “meeting is the coordinated effort to give structure to the Government’s response to the arrival of Venezuelans in Guyana.”
“This was an inter-agency meeting and we all discussed our various roles and how those roles will complement the other. I can say for sure that during the course of this week, we will be reinforcing the Immigration Department in Region One to deal with the arrival of Venezuelans into Guyana,” Felix reportedly added.
The multi-agency committee includes the Guyana Police Force, the Ministries of Commu-nities, Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Social Protection, Public Health, and Citizenship, and the Civil Defence Commission.