Georgetown, Guyana – (October 30, 2019) The Civil Defence Commission (CDC), on Tuesday morning, held discussions with partner agencies as part of their disaster response to recent high tides which have inundated households and farmlands along coastline communities in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six.
Following the meeting, representatives from the CDC travelled to communities from Dantzig to Fairfield as well as to Number 28 Village, West Coast Berbice, Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five) to assess the damage caused by the high tides, which occurred from October 27 to 29, and to distribute cleaning supplies to affected residents.
The CDC and its partners have committed to finding both short and long-term solutions to alleviate the effects of flooding, particularly since more high tides are expected over the coming days.
CDC Senior Response Officer, Captain Salim October said, “Disaster risk management and emergency response are a highly bipartisan activity, and at the CDC, we are very particular about ensuring that our response is people-based and based on the people on the ground.”
Additionally, Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) representative, Ms. Colleen Bascom said the Authority has been working with farmers to find short-term solutions and have so far been able to assist livestock farmers to move their animals to higher ground.
“Our main focus now is mainly Mahaicony in Region Five…We have been doing a lot of work assisting farmers with transporting animals to higher ground, supplemental feeding and veterinary assistance…,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Sea and River Defence Department is working on sealing the breaches along the eastern embankment from Dantzig to Fairfield as a long-term solution in this area.
Representatives from other agencies, including the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI); the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB); the Mahaica-Mahaicony-Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA); the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Communities also participated in the meeting.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Janet Bhandoo, who lives along the Dantzig foreshore, in an invited comment said although the high tides destroyed both her and her neighbours’ farms, they remain optimistic since infrastructural works have been ongoing on a twenty-four-hour basis and the flood water is receding quickly.
“Every day you see the trucks, the big load trucks going in and carrying things,” Mrs. Bhandoo said.
Several other residents also said that they were satisfied with the State’s response to lessen the adverse effects of the flooding.
At the same time, the CDC continues to advise residents to take all the necessary precautions to reduce health risks and to minimize damage to property as the high tides are expected to continue.