Region Nine farms, roadways covered in floodwater

- Regional Chairman says flooding may increase in coming weeks

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A number of farms and roadways across Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) have been affected by the seasonal flooding and the region is bracing for worse in the coming weeks, Regional Chairman Brian Allicock said Tuesday.

Speaking to the News Room via telephone from his Lethem office, Allicock said that the communities in the South Rupununi have been affected since Sunday. On Monday, however, the flood waters began spreading to the North Rupununi.

“Parabara has experienced some flooding and now this morning, Apoteri and Rewa in the North Rupununi…are experiencing flooding in the farms,” Allicock said.

“Moco-Moco called to say that all of the cassava farms are flooded,” he added.

The Regional Chairman also highlighted that many of the access roads connecting Lethem, the capital town of the Region, to the South Rupununi have been flooded. Already, the access road to St. Ignatius is entirely covered, according to Allicock.

Flooding in Lethem, Region Nine (Photo: CDC/May 17, 2021)

On Tuesday also, recently-elected Toshao of the Deep South village of Karaudarnau, Apollas Isaacs, told the News Room, that the cassava farms of many of Karaudarnau’s villagers have been inundated.

“Most of the farmers plant cassava to make farine and cassava bread. When the flood comes, it needs to be reaped… and  it might have some young cassavas that go to waste,” Toshao Isaacs said.

Meanwhile, Allicock said regional officers were conducting a full assessment of the flooding in the Region. If necessary, he said that plans are being put in place to relocate families to shelters across the Region and to provide food assistance and santisation supplies provided by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).

Importantly, the Regional Chairman emphasised that it is possible that flooding can increase in the coming weeks.

“Water started receding in the South but we are not taking that because this is the first set of water coming in; we have three phases of water that would normally come into the region,” he said.

This seasonal flooding, he explained, occurs when water from the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil travels through the Rio Negro river, to the Brancho river and eventually, makes its way to Region Nine.

Regional Chairman Bryan Allicock (File photo)

On Monday, the CDC said that it is closely monitoring seasonal flooding that has affected several areas in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and stands ready to deploy resources and personnel if necessary.

According to a release from the body, thus far, no homes were directly impacted by the flooding but, sections of roads, bridges and savannahs have been flooded.

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