NDIA, Region 10 engineers to assess damaged dyke at Three Friends

-additional round of hampers to be distributed to residents
-water tanks for Three Friends, Coomacka, Maria Elizabeth
-medical team to visit communities

Residents of Three Friends and nearby Coomacka and Maria Elizabeth, Region Ten will soon see repairs to a damaged dyke in the area, which has exacerbated flooding in recent days.

Minister of Local Government and Region Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall addresses residents at a community meeting at Three Friends

Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn disclosed this on Sunday during flood assessments at Three Friends and Coomacka. He was accompanied by the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall and Regional Executive Officer Mr. Dwight John.

Minister Benn said the sand dyke at Three Friends had eroded following torrential rains, which placed mined-out reservoirs under stress.

Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn addresses residents at a community meeting at Three Friends

“We will have to get the engineers to come and look at that, along with BOSAI to see what is the best solution,” Minister Benn told residents at a community meeting at Three Friends.

Engineers from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Ten will be part of the assessment. 

Minister of Local Government and Region Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall; Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn and Regional Executive Officer Mr. Dwight John distribute sanitation hampers to residents at Three Friends

The NDIA is already executing emergency works in the communities. 

Additionally, the Minister noted that the Ministry of Public Works will be approached to restore the roadway that links the three communities. Significant sections of the road have become impassable due to flooding. 

Minister Benn said a full-scale analysis will be conducted on the water from the bauxite mining area and rainwater from flooded communities.

Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall enter a boat at an eroded dyke at Three Friends, Region 10

“You should be given the tablets or the bleach to be able to add to any water to bring it to a state where it is potable, where it is drinkable, and if there are further fears… you can boil it,” the Minister added. 

On the same note, Minister Dharamlall said water tanks would be placed in the communities since many septic tanks and latrines are underwater. 

“Some black tanks are going to be in the community by tomorrow or Wednesday the latest…You will decide where you want it placed at some central locations where all of you can access it,” he said.

“Tomorrow, the health team will come into the area, and they will bring some health kits to provide to you, and they will also deal with all of the health-related problems that you have.”

A section of the eroded road between Coomacka and Three Friends

The team is currently in Kwakwani, addressing the needs of residents most affected by floods in the region. Minister Dharamlall said some 62 hampers were delivered in the communities on Saturday, with more on the way.

“We will provide because you are underwater, and your livelihood is affected. We will bring the hampers … The hampers are supposed to last you like two weeks… and then we will replenish. So, more will come. So, please don’t be aggrieved that that is the last set of hampers,” Minister Dharamlall noted. 

Meanwhile, the Minister informed residents that the RDC would provide fuel to the communities to assist with their transportation needs. He reiterated that the Government is focused on providing relief to those affected by the flood.

“The President has committed that all the losses that you have in terms of poultry and other livestock, as well as crops … we are going to work with you to get you back into production.” 

Several residents also received sanitation hampers.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) will conduct detailed damage sector assessments in Regions Two, Five, Six, Seven, and Ten this week.

Those assessments will guide a report outlining the extent of the damage and provide estimations for recovery in the mining, agriculture, health, water and sanitation, infrastructure (roads, bridges, housing) and social sectors.

Guyana has already received support from CDEMA after President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali declared the countrywide flood a national disaster. 

The CDC had elevated flooding across the country to a Level Two Disaster. CDEMA describes this level as one in which the nation’s capacity to respond is not overwhelmed, but some external assistance is required.

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