Flood-affected Port Mourant residents call on authorities for assistance

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Poultry seeks safety in a flooded yard at Area R Ankerville, Port Mourant

RESIDENTS of Area ‘R’ Ankerville, Port Mourant are seeking assistance from the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and the Government of Guyana following severe flooding which has left the community inundated with water for over five days.

Parbattie Bissoon

The residents have reported that though there has been no rain for three days, the water has not receded. As a result, they said that the stagnant water has further become infested with snakes, frogs as well as bacteria and has started to give off a foul scent.

According to the Regional Vice-Chairman, Dennis Deroop, the flooding has occurred as a result of the accumulation of water from heavy rainfall coupled with the high tides over the past few days. He told this publication that based on his assessment of the situation, the area should be getting some relief by this afternoon since the area is a low lying one and is heavily dependent on the GuySuCo Drainage Pump in Port Mourant to get the water off the lands. “This area is lower than the surrounding villages like Tain and Bloomfield, so you will find that the water in those areas run off quickly when the sluices are open. However, here is very low and it takes longer to recede. The entire area from Johns to Port Mourant relies on the Guysuco drainage pump to get the water off the lands,” he said.

Deroop further noted that before the heavy rains came there was a mini excavator in the community that was doing routine cleaning of all drains. This, he explained has helped the situation a bit as the drains were clogged with garbage.

The flood has taken such a toll on the community that some residents were forced to move out, while others lamented loss of livestock, crops, groceries and damage to property.

The Sohan’s family remains high to protect the children

Banmattie Mohabir, 55, said that she woke up to use the washroom last Friday morning at approximately 03:00hrs, only to find water inches away from the matrass. “When I put my foot down, water reach past my knee. A littlemore and it would have reach the bed. I say we can’t bail this water because it start rushing in from the door .This is the first time something like this happen,” she said.

Mohabir said that the water damaged her household appliances, including her television and refrigerator. She explained this has hampered her livelihood since she uses the refrigerator to make ice and icicles, which she sells to help pay their bills.

Next door to Mohabir, Parbattie Bissoon, 52, said she is extremely stressed. She told this publication that her husband recently had a major surgery so she made a bed for him in the lower flat because he could not walk up the stairs, and on Friday at around 04:00hrs flood waters had reached the bed, forcing her to have to lift him upstairs by herself. She said the lower flat was where her kitchen and groceries were and they were all damaged due to the water.

Meanwhile Tara Charran, a single parent who is unable to work due to an illness, said she had to move out of her home on Friday since the water was over three feet high in her house. “All my electrical appliances damaged along with the sofa ,water dispenser, clothing and mattresses. Water was waist height and I had to move out and come back [yesterday] but could not do much as the water remain at ankle height with tadpoles, snakes and fish swimming in the house,” she said.

Deonarine Sohan, 46, a cane harvester, said he has two children in school who are currently sitting the exams and he has had to lift them from the stairs to the street twice daily to ensure they get to school. He further lamented that the water has started to smell and he is afraid of the children becoming ill.

The residents are calling on the authorities to render assistance as quickly as possible as they fear for their health and their livelihoods. The Regional Vice-chairman has assured that every resource available to their disposal is being used to assist to ease the situation.