About 360 mining operations flooded in Reg. 8; shortage of drinking water, food being addressed by CDC
Representatives from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC); the Ministry of Health (MoH); the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) conducted flood assessments in several communities in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) at the weekend.
An assessment conducted in Sub-District 2, Mahdia found that several homes, farms, roads and mining equipment have been destroyed by floodwaters.
Tumatumari Hill Foot to Two Miles is flooded, making it difficult for vehicles to traverse. Food prices have hiked due to shortages and access to drinking water is a concern, with water harvesting being a challenge in hard-to-reach communities.
In Tumatumari, five households with a total of 21 persons were independently evacuated to the homes of relatives who reside on higher ground. The team also assessed the flood impact at El Passo which is home to approximately 35 families (160 persons).
Five households (16 persons), which are located on the waterfront, were severely impacted by floodwater which rose to about 15 feet.
This resulted in contamination of drinking water, damage to food, household items, boats and engines among other things. As a result, families relocated to higher ground. Those who reside on the hills experienced flash floods, but water has since receded.
Among the immediate needs of the affected households are food and cleaning hampers, drinking water, water tanks, life jackets, mattresses and kerosene. The CDC is currently working with the RDC to address these immediate needs.
During a meeting between the CDC, RDC and GGMC to discuss the impact of the flood on mining operations, it was noted that affected miners in the Mining District from Potaro Mouth to Koribrung and Kaieteur had moved to Mahdia.
Approximately 360 mining operations in Sub-District 2 at Mabura, Kanawaruk, Mahdia, Issano and Miniaha Landing have been disrupted as a result of flooding.
The CDC’s Preparedness and Response Manager, Major Salim October said the team discovered that the bridges at Mowasi Landing and White Water have been washed away while others are damaged.
Major October said there is evidence that some mining camps were abandoned and the assessment team was told that equipment is submerged in floodwaters.
Some miners who remained in the area were in the process of pumping water from the land in preparation to recommence operation as early as Monday.
Among the request from miners are cleaning supplies, treated mosquito nets, face masks and malaria medication. The Ministry of Health has embarked on a mission to deliver Covid-19 vaccines, malaria tests and treated mosquito nets to miners.
Monitoring and assessment in Sub-District 2 will continue with the assessment moving to Sub-District 1 to assess the impact of the flood in those communities.
Information reaching the team indicated that areas of concern include Paramakatoi which has approximately 10 families and Mountain Foot which has approximately 140 residents. Reports are that the trail between Paramakatoi to Kato is impassable. (CDC press release)