Region Five residents laud Govt’s efforts as communities remain inundated

-following torrential rains, high tides
Residents from several flood-affected areas in Region Five are lauding the Government’s efforts to date to alleviate flooding across the country, which was caused by torrential rains and high tides.

During an outreach on Monday to Region Five communities, Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha assured them that the Government is working tirelessly to get the situation under control.

Minister Mustapha while engaging farmers from Abary

Mahaicony River farmer, Mr. Krishendat Manickchand, said the Government’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“I don’t think there’s a problem at the Government level. Initially, we’ve had excessive rainfall. The result of that is that we have flooding, and the result of the flooding is that persons have been losing crops and livestock.

The Government’s response so far is commendable. They’ve been out meeting with residents across the country, sharing hampers and using excavators to help secure the existing infrastructure. As the tide rises, we are seeing more flooding. I know that they are under tremendous pressure because rain is falling all across the country on a daily basis. The flooding cannot be seen as a human error,” Mr. Manickchand said.

During his interactions with residents and farmers, Minister Mustapha reassured them that they would also benefit from the same amount of Government relief being offered around the country.

Minister Mustapha examines a cassava that a farmer brought our from his flooded farm in Big Baiaboo

“I know many of you would’ve lost cash crops and rice, while others would’ve lost poultry or have animals in the savannahs that need food. The [Guyana Livestock Development Authority] GLDA has been offering assistance to livestock farmers and today, I want to make a commitment that you too will benefit from interventions like those.

Persons who lost poultry, and other small ruminants will also benefit from assistance after we conduct our assessments. Our officers from [National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute] NAREI and [Guyana Rice Development Board] GRDB will also be conducting assessments once the waters recede and we will be assisting farmers with getting back to the field. We already have preliminary figures and will continue to monitor the situation in both the farming and residential communities,” Minister Mustapha said.

He also told residents the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority is currently mobilising additional excavators to assist with building up dams and clearing drains that have been impeding the flow of water to the main channels.

Minister Mustapha further explained that the Ministry is working aggressively to extend help to those who were affected. He told residents that the Government’s immediate goal is to ensure that residents have food and that the water recedes.

Some of the farmers who came out to meet with Minister Mustapha during the outreach to affected areas in Region 5

“The purpose of these outreaches is to see what help we can extend to farmers and residents because many communities are flooded and farmers have lost both crops and livestock. Over the past three days, my officers and I have been visiting affected areas in Regions Six and Five extending assistance and making several interventions to get the water out of the communities as soon as possible.

I’ve visited approximately 20 villages. Drains have been cleared, pumps have been installed, dams are being built up to assist with overtopping. Our engineers also monitoring the situations at our pumps and sluices to ensure they are working at their full capacity. So far, those interventions have been welcomed by residents and we will continue to put systems in place to bring relief to those that are affected. Ninety-five per cent of the interventions made thus far are already in place,” Minister Mustapha said.

The Minister reached out to Bara Bara, Abary, Pine Ground, Big Biaboo and Broken Water Land today and plans to visit other areas in other affected regions during the course of the week.