CDC assessing flood-affected communities in Region Nine


– Several areas under water

-Two families relocated

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 25, 2018

The Civil Defense Commission (CDC) along with the Ministries of Public Health and Public Infrastructure, and the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) are currently assessing flood-affected communities in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and monitoring the level of preparedness of the region.

On Saturday, the team visited Karasabai, South Pakaraimas, where the main access roads and the level of water at the Ireng and Takutu Rivers were evaluated.

Director-General (ag) of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig explained that it was observed that Central Karasabai and its environs are threatened, some of the villages are cut off because of the level of water on the bridges.

Craig said that the community of Aishalton is similarly impacted and other areas of the Deep South where access to the bridges are underwater and accessing most of the communities is difficult.

An assessment was also conducted in and around central Rupununi, particularly in Lethem. It was observed that the water level in the Takutu River has risen and residents residing behind the Tabatinga Creek are affected. Craig said several homes were under water and thus far, two families were relocated, one group is staying with family members and the other is at a temporary shelter that was established by the Mayor and Town Council.

“The CDC is continuing to work closely with the RDC to establish a needs list. What we have observed is that we need to have communication at all times with all of the communities in the event that the water level increases. We will need to communicate to determine what level of supplies they would need. We will also need to continue to check with the hospital, health post and health centres ensure they have the maximum of supplies to deal with any water-related type of illnesses,” Craig said.

The Director-General further noted that the CDC will continue to work with the RDC to determine if there they will be a need for long-term shelters, supplies, beddings, sheets, cots, food and cleaning agents.  He also commended the RDC and the Council for responding promptly to the situation.

Craig told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the main aim of the visit is to locate deficiencies in the region’s preparedness and response capability and work towards enhancing them.

Over the past week, heavy rains caused flooding in the South Pakaraimas, Deep South, and Central Rupununi areas. Alternative routes between communities of Katoonarib to Karaudarnauwa was identified so that residents and vehicles can safely travel to their destinations.

Annually during the dry season Rupununi suffers from drought. This has been mitigated with the construction of resorvoirs and the drilling of several wells. In the rainy season waters from the mountains in the highland region enter creeks and streams which lead to the rivers which are unable to take the large volume of water. Some rivers overflow their banks which lead to the flooding of some villages and large swathes of the savannah lands. This flooding is an annual feature and since 2015 there has been a coordinated response to evaluate the situation and provide relief. The assessment team is scheduled to return to the coastland tomorrow and we will have a detailed report will follow.

By: Synieka Thorne.