Georgetown, Guyana – (December 30, 2017) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon and a team of representatives from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the Mayor and City Council (MCC) of Georgetown and the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), earlier today, distributed 300 sanitation hampers to residents of Albouystown who have been affected by flooding due to the seasonal rains. The Minister also led the team on a walkabout of the community to get a first-hand look at the conditions under which people are living and the impact that the flooding would have had on their lives and livelihoods. Representatives from the Ministry of Public Health were also on hand to treat persons who may be suffering from water-borne diseases.

“I’m not unfamiliar with this territory. As you recall… while we were in the Opposition we had these floods, we’ve gone through these streets. I know [that] the situation has not changed dramatically but it has changed somewhat because of the monies the Government and the City Council has spent on drainage and irrigation in these communities, but there’s still a lot to be done,” he said.

Minister Harmon said that persons who reside in bottom flat homes in Constituency 10, which comprises the Albouystown and Charlestown communities, are particularly vulnerable to flooding as it is a low-lying area and as such every effort must be made to ensure that drainage structures are maintained. He also charged residents to practice proper waste disposal to reduce the build-up of refuse in drainage channels, which would impede the discharge of rainwater.

“We know that December is always a month of rain and so what I would advise and continue to advise is that people take precautions because as I said, the situation, while we’re working on changing it, it’s still a work in progress and so people need to help in that regard. They need to ensure that their surroundings are clean… as a community we take those things into our own hands. The City Council can do so much … the Central Government can do so much as well, but the community, the people in the community, the councillors from the community and the persons who live there have to assist. It has to be … a total effort … to make sure that we can provide that good life for the people [that] we promised them,” he said.

Mayor of Georgetown, Her Worship Patricia Chase-Green expressed similar sentiments. She urged the residents to continue to co-operate with the City Council and the Government to enhance the quality of their lives. “We have seen the results of [the] work that we have done in here that as soon as … the tide is down, the kokers are opened and the water recedes… The Councillors have been on the ball and the City Council will appeal to the Government every single time that we need help … we’re willing to work with everyone to ensure that 2018 is the continuance of the better life,” she said.

Meanwhile, the CDC continues to observe flooding across the regions via its 24-hour National Emergency Monitoring System (NIMS). The CDC submits a report every 12 hours to Minister Harmon as efforts continue to determine how best to deploy limited resources to reach the most vulnerable communities.

Director General (Ag) CDC, Major Kester Craig, CDC Preparedness and Response Manager, Major Sean Welcome, MCC Constituency 10 Councillors Mr. Heston Bostwick, Mr. Malcolm Ferreira and Ms. Carolyn Caesar-Murray were also present.

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