Georgetown, Guyana – (May 18, 2017) President David Granger has instructed that all available resources be utilised to bring immediate relief to those affected by the severe flooding in Kaibarupai, Sand Hill, Chenapou, Waipa and surrounding areas in Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight), as a result of the overtopping of several rivers, including the Ireng river.
Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, who has responsibility for the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the coordination of disaster response, in an invited comment, said that the Government through its various agencies, is utilising every resource at its disposal to bring relief to the residents.
“The Government is working assiduously to bring relief to all of the residents of the communities affected by the flood waters. The response by agencies of the State has been prompt and decisive and citizens can be assured that the Government will take all the steps necessary to ensure that the lives and livelihood of the persons affected by the flooding will be brought to normalcy in as short time as possible. The President was notified and he has mandated that all resources of the state be utilised to ensure that this happens. The CDC also has my full authorisation to coordinate relief efforts as necessary,” Minister Harmon said.
As of today, an aircraft was sent out at 11:00hrs for a reconnaissance in the affected areas but it was unable to land. However, the CDC has managed to confirm the reports received and has received a preliminary needs and damages assessment.
Director General of the CDC, Colonel Chabilall Ramsarup said that the Commission is currently working around the clock to make supplies such as food, clothing, blankets, tents and other necessities available to the residents. He noted that efforts are currently underway to have smaller aircrafts go into the area tomorrow.
The Guyana Defence Force and the Guyana Police Force have been briefed and units in the area have been asked to respond. Additionally, more than 30 persons, who were trained by the CDC in Disaster Risk Reduction are present in the region and are rendering assistance in moving persons to higher grounds and conducting needs and damages assessments.
Additionally, Minister Harmon has requested Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Mr. Sydney Allicock, who is currently in the Rupununi, to visit the affected areas to get a first-hand look at the situation and to provide a feedback to the Government.