…inter-agency collaboration to monitor, respond
BRIAN Allicock, Chairman of the Upper Takutu–Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) has reported that flood waters in the region has begun to recede, with the exception of the village of Karasabai, located in the South Pakaraimas.
A special meeting to provide updates was, today, held at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Boardroom with Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant-Colonel Kester Craig, the regional administration and officials from various ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Communities, Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and the Mayor and Town Council, among others.
In an invited comment, Mr. Allicock said that he received reports from several sources during the day, indicating that the water has receded in the areas which were previously affected, including Aishalton and Lethem.
“In the access road, beyond the Rupununi crossing, the water has already receded and I was told by a contractor from Lethem that he was leaving for Aishalton because he can now take in his machinery for the construction works he has to do in there. The other problem is the culvert at Aishalton, but the contractor will create a bypass there so vehicles can move over. In the Lethem area, the water is receding and I am happy about that because even though we have people in the low-lying areas, only three families were evacuated from the area. We are happy because the water is going away and the weather report from Brazil is very helpful because we see that there is no rainfall in the Amazon area,” he said.
On Monday, Deputy Toshao Andrew Albert Junior of Karasabai noted that the main concern shared by the six villages and one satellite community in that area is the fact that the flood water on the main access road has resulted in a total cut-off for villagers. This had prevented access in and out of the village and to Lethem and Georgetown. He said that a request had been made to the RDC for a boat and engine to transport residents, particularly schoolchildren and emergency cases.
The Regional Chairman noted that Karasabai remains affected, since the flooding is caused not only by the heavy rainfalls or the ‘wet’ season, but the water running off from the mountains and from neighbouring Brazil. The Ireng River, he said, remains high and as such, the region has responded to the request made by the deputy Toshao. “The only other place that is suffering at the moment is Karasabai in that the water is still coming down from the mountains and the Ireng. Even though the Takutu is receding, the Ireng is still bringing in water and we are putting in place a boat and engine to transport people to the El Globo Landing or Good Hope landing,” Mr. Allicock said.
Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture has dispatched teams from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) to conduct on-the-ground assessments in the affected villages and to lend assistance where necessary, while the Ministry of Public Infrastructure will be examining the affected roads and culverts to determine the extent of damage and corrective actions that must be taken. The Ministry of Public Health continues to maintain contact with the regional health facilities to ensure that there are adequate medical supplies in stock to treat persons affected with water-borne or vector-borne diseases. The CDC continues to monitor the situation in the region and will provide support as it becomes necessary.
Meanwhile, the Regional Chairman noted that the weather condition has also affected the Georgetown to Lethem roadway, making it almost impossible to traverse. He noted that the Regional administration has awarded a contract for the upgrading of the roadway from Annai to Lethem, while the government has budgeted for feasibility studies and detailed designs for the first phase of the Linden-Lethem road, covering the section from Linden to Mabura Hill, thereby improving access to the communities. (Ministry of the Presidency)