More disaster relief needed in wake of Region 9 floods

first_img– says Regional Chairman Region 9 Chairman Brian Allicock is requesting further assistance to supplementRegion 9 Chairman Brian Allicockrecovery efforts being undertaken in that region in the aftermath of the recent flooding that had been occasioned by severe rain storms.Allicock told Guyana Times that while several organisations, including the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), has been rendering support, a dire need still exists for more supplies. Other organisations have also given their commitment to assist with relief supplies. The Regional Chairman has said outsiders may have underestimated the magnitude of the recent floods, but many people’s livelihoods have been adversely affected and homes have been destroyed. Some 42 villages have each so far submitted to the regional office a list of the names of farmers who have been affected by the floods. These farmers are each expected to receive some relief effort.“So we started distributing food items. We distributed food and other items to at least six villages. And we looked at the most needy of the lot,” he stated.Allicock said the flooding has also weakened the region’s infrastructure, leading to some 18 buildings in three different communities being destroyed; and parts of the Linden/Lethem Road have been rendered impassable, somewhat affecting business in the region, particularly in the densely populated areas.“At one time, we had seven lorries and two tankers waiting to cross at a portion where the culverts are broken…,” he explained.Allicock recently sought an audience with Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, to get Government’s assistance to repair some of the damaged roads. HeTold Guyana Times the meeting was held on Friday, and Patterson has given some assurance that a team of engineers would join the one that is already there on the ground.Calling this a step in the right direction, Allicock laments that many roads, particularly those in close proximity to river banks, will languish in a state of dilapidation before being fully repaired.“We are hoping that works will commence. We had two (roads that) broke away in the South, but we (the region) got a contractor to repair two culverts. They are working on that, and we hope they will be finished shortly,” he expressed.While some communities are not severely affected, some are; for example, Karasabai is completely cut off from vehicular traffic. At present, supplies are being sent to that community via boats. The Regional Chairman noted that while the repair of these roads may take some time, he is hoping that all of the infrastructural repairs would be completed before year-end. A Regional Disaster Management Plan was activated in early July following the floods in that region. In excess of 2000 persons were affected, and close to three dozen homes were destroyed. The Takutu and Rupununi rivers overtopped their banks, resulting in several creeks overtopping as well. Emergency shelters have been activated at various locations, including the Arapaima Primary School. Hotlines were later set up, and drivers were put on standby to evacuate affected persons. Since commencement of the May-June rainy season, citizens have been warned to expect higher-than-normal rainfall and to take the necessary precautions to deal with the situation. However, since the rainy season began, several villages have experienced major flooding, and some are still trying to rebuild after the floods. Several communities along the East Coast of Demerara and in Georgetown were also flooded a few weeks ago. This was as a result of heavy rainfall and poor drainage infrastructure in some areas.last_img read more