Ministers assure Demerara River residents of Govt’s support, efforts to reduce flooding
Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Hon. Kwame McCoy and Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues have assured residents in communities along the Demerara River the Government is working to mitigate flooding in the country.
Both Ministers on Wednesday, visited riverine communities: Susannah’s Rust, Endeavour, Dora, Low Wood, Sand Hill and Kamuni Creek, all located along the Demerara River in both Demerara-Mahaica and Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (regions three and four respectively). There the Ministers urged residents to be mindful of their environment as Guyana is among several countries experiencing the adverse effects of global warming.
“The rains are all part of the climate change phenomenon and that is why we have to become more conscious of our environment, protect the environment, pay attention to the environment in ways to reduce the risk of climate change in our society,” Minister McCoy said.
The Minister said the clearing of canals and kokers are also among the interventions being undertaken.
“A number of other interventions are also being made to protect people and their homes from being flooded, to protect farms and animals and so forth,” he said.
Additionally, Minister Rodrigues said the Government was also examining other ways to deal with the devastation.
“It’s a double whammy that we are getting, it’s the rainfall compounded by the high tides that has caused the water levels to rise and it’s affecting Guyana and it’s affecting our neighbours Suriname, Venezuela, Brazil.
So, it’s a phenomenon we have to deal with as part of the climate change,” she said.
She told residents that Government’s relief efforts are being spearheaded by President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who is on a quest to lessen the burdens this disaster has imposed.
Both Ministers also used the opportunity to encourage residents to take their COVID-19 vaccines to protect themselves and their families against the deadly disease.
Residents were also given food and sanitation hampers to help them to cope with the situation. Several of them relayed their appreciation to the Government for its speedy response in their hour of need.
Mr. Elias Allicock of Sand Hill Community, Region Three told the Department of Public of Information he was happy to see both Ministers McCoy and Rodrigues in his community today.
“The response I got from the Government was wonderful because I call the Ministry Monday morning and it was nice to see that y’all are in here today and I am really happy with what the Government is doing for the people,” he said.
Mr. Gilbert George of Susannah’s Rust, who also lost his crops in the flood, praised President Ali’s leadership.
“I have lived through all the Presidents from Forbes Burnham right down, I have never seen an active President like our President, who leaves his house in the middle of the night to go and check in Georgetown, to make sure that the citizens there are taken care of.”
Senior citizen, Ms. Dhanmattie Balkaran of Low Wood said she was proud and happy that Government Ministers found the time to travel to her community to listen to residents’ concerns.
Another Susannah’s Rust resident, Ms. Lourita Ramdeholl also praised President Ali for keeping his promise. Ms. Ramdeholl said while in Opposition, Dr. Ali had visited another nearby riverine community where he promised residents that once his party won the elections, he would ensure that their needs were met. Ms. Ramdeholl said she was happy and satisfied that the President has kept his promise and has quickly responded to the needs of her community.