More households, communities to benefit from disaster preparedness training, hampers in 2024

Some $7.7 billion has been approved by the Parliamentary Committee of Supply to advance disaster preparedness, response, and management.

This amount forms part of the $111.1 billion allocation that was approved for the Office of the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips defended this allocation in the national assembly on Tuesday. He stressed that the amount will facilitate enhancements of the operations of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).

Some $3.8 billion will provide adequate support to staff and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to conduct damage assessments and response during various hazards.

The sum of $2 million was approved to provide emergency kits to four communities in regions one, two six, and seven, while a combined $7.8 million will facilitate the restocking of CDC warehouses with mattresses, sheets, and kitchen utensils, hammocks, and other materials for shelter management in Lethem and Mahdia, as well as the headquarters at Thomas Land.  

Approximately $12 million will provide for routine and proposed training in 2024. A total of 80 persons will benefit from Mass Casualty management training at a cost of $2.7 million, while $1.1 million will fund basic first aid training for some 30 participants.

“Training for community emergency response teams will be conducted at $1.6 million, and we intend to train 40 participants. Shelter management training, [with an allocation of] $1.7 million, to benefit another 40 participants. $4.7 million for CDC training and evaluation seminars, which will be conducted throughout Guyana. We intend to capture and gain another 40 participants in those seminars,” PM Phillips said.

He reminded that the aim is to ensure that all vulnerable communities have the necessary support both in a proactive and reactive capacity.

The PM further explained, “The community emergency response teams are trained, and they go out to communities and sensitise these communities about disaster-related matters, and these have been very effective, even now as we would have endured the dry season, these teams have gone out to many of the communities that were affected and educated people on how to conserve water, for example, and in addition to that, they have distributed black tanks, and taught persons how to treat the water. This happens wherever people are affected by disaster,”

Stemming from the effects of the El Nino phenomenon, the prime minister said that budget 2024 holds several mitigatory provisions to support affected Guyanese across the country.

To address food security issues for the vulnerable groups affected by floods and droughts, $5 billion, has been allocated, and this amount also caters to supporting migrant communities. About 250,000 households will benefit from this intervention.

“Janitorial hampers and relief supplies for flood victims throughout Guyana, $1.5 billion has been placed there, relief supplies to assist in rebuilding homes affected by freak storms and high winds both in the coastal and hinterland areas, $120 million has been allocated. This particular activity, on many occasions in 2022 and 2023, we have had to go into communities affected by these freak storms and assist them in re-roofing their homes,” he said.