Regional Emergency Centre activated in Region Nine


  • Cabinet briefed on situation
  • CDC conducts assessment, emergency plan in place
  • Requisite ministers to visit, further assessments to be done

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Regional Emergency Operation Centre of Region Nine, Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo has been activated in response to flood situation in the hinterlands.

According to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, the Cabinet has been briefed on the current situation and the decision taken to use several schools as shelters for affected residents.

“The Regional Emergency Operation Centre was activated today and recommended that five schools be suspended on July 5. This recommendation was made because some of the schools would have to be utilised as shelters and access to St Ignatius Primary School was inundated and challenging to traverse. The recommendation was brought to the attention of the minister of education who granted permission for the schools to be closed. the schools affected are St Ignatius Primary and St. Ignatius Secondary, Arapaima Primary, Arapaima Secondary and Culvert City Nursery.”

A preliminary assessment conducted by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has identified aviation fuel to support emergency medical evacuations should that become necessary, in remote areas, water purification tablets, water storage containers, food and beddings for residents in shelters as emergency needs of the community.

“I have been advised by the CDC that these items are available and can be deposited there at short notice,” Minister Harmon assured.

According to the Minister of State, the water levels are rising rapidly across the region and in Lethem and neighbouring communities had increased by approximately 5 feet between 5 am and 11 am.

On Wednesday, it was reported that 25 residents had been evacuated from their homes and housed at temporary shelters at Culvert City Nursery School, Tabatinga Community Centre and the Amerindian hostel while additional affected residents evacuated to relatives’ homes on higher ground.

In addition, Minister Harmon said that a decision has been taken for the requisite ministers to visit and make further assessments of the situation.

“Earlier this morning, the Prime Minister performing the functions of President summoned me to a briefing. There, he gave instructions that the ministers must be dispatched to the area and of such Annette Ferguson, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is on the ground and doing an assessment and looking at public infrastructural matters. I, as Minister with responsibility for the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), will be travelling to the area tomorrow to look at additional work,” Minister Harmon assured.

By: Kidackie Amsterdam.

Images: Keno George.